The Humane Society of the United States has released video footage taken earlier this year of an undercover investigation conducted at a Pennsylvania egg factory owned by Kreider Farms. The footage reveals shocking animal abuse, filth and rotting corpses at one of the nation's largest egg factories.
Kreider Farms' cages are home to roughly 7 million of the nation's 280 million egg-laying hens (2.5 percent), and although one of the nation's largest producers of eggs, Kreider Farms is actually only one of a few U.S. egg producers that does not support federal legislation to improve the living conditions for hens. In a statement released by the HSUS, president and CEO Wayne Pacelle said, "This new exposé underscores why we need a minimum federal standard for the housing of laying hens."
Among the conditions exposed in the investigation were overcrowded cages with severely cramped birds given just 54-58 square inches; injured and dead hens found inside cages where live hens were producing eggs for human consumption; legs, wings and hens' heads were frequently found trapped in cage wire and automated feeding equipment; and the coating of dead flies on the floor was so thick it made crunching sounds when walked on.
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"Our investigation shows that major egg producers can just go their own way, ignore even the most modest industry standards, and cause incredible stress and harm to birds," said Pacelle.
According to the HSUS, they've come to an agreement with long time adversaries the United Egg Producers—the largest egg industry trade association in the U.S.—to identify and collectively work on implementing solutions for improving the conditions that the 280 million egg-laying hens endure in factory farms.
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Image: Orin Zebest