Valentine's Raid on Battery Hen Farm
February 12, 2005 California, USA

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SAN DIEGO—Activists from the Animal Protection & Rescue League rescued two hens early this morning from a local factory farm. The birds have extensive feather loss from intensive battery cage confinement, and their beaks are severely cut off from the standard industry practice of “de-beaking” using a searing hot blade and no anesthesia. The activists’ message to the public is to “Have a heart this Valentine’s Day; don’t support factory farming.”

The California Senate just issued a report on factory farming calling for an improvement in animal welfare standards in these facilities. The poultry industry decried the report and claimed that they no longer engage in practices such as de-beaking. The hens just rescued are living proof that the industry is lying to consumers about this.

“These birds are forced to live literally on top of one another in tiny wire cages where they cannot stretch or move a wing for their entire lives,” states Kath Rogers of APRL. “I am thrilled to see the long suffering birds we rescued finally able to enjoy their lives, but there are still billions of animals every year who are forced to endure constant misery on factory farms.”

A new California law makes it a crime punishable by jail time to trespass on farmland, but the activists say the industry’s violation of California’s animal cruelty law by “subjecting an animal to needless suffering” justifies their intervention, and that they are willing to risk going to jail. The activists say they have abided by the purpose of the new law because they followed bio-security protocol by wearing disinfected boots and clothing to prevent the spread of disease.

Broadcast-quality footage of conditions on the factory farm and the rescue operation is available upon request.

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