Humane Society Video Uncovers Another Rotten Egg Producer
An undercover Humane Society video reveals another rotten egg farming facility that bodes poorly for public food safety and animal welfare. HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle has notified FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg about the “shocking and horrible” conditions at one of the nation’s largest egg suppliers in the interest of public food safety and in hopes of improving animal welfare standards.
Hens at Cal-Maine’s factory farm in Waelder, Texas that cages about a million hens in 18 barns were found living in crowded conditions with bloody feet from the cage wires. Some were completely immobilized Other birds were laying eggs on top of rotting deceased hens.
Hens at Largest Egg Producer's Facility Covered in Feces
According to Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, “While most of these birds can barely move in their cages, some were immobilized in an even more gruesome way; they got trapped or tangled in the wires, left there to languish and perhaps to die from starvation or dehydration. The undercover video “shows hens with bloody uterine prolapses, broken legs, and facial abscesses, some of them covered almost head-to-back in feces from the hens in the upper-tiered cages.”
The video also shows that some of the hen’s heads were decaying on the moving belt that transports eggs from the cages. The hens died from entrapment under feeding troughs.
Cal-Maine issued an egg recall earlier this month, and according to Pacelle, the conditions are the same as those found at the Iowa factory farms that sickened more than a thousand consumers from Salmonella.
The problem says Pacelle is, “There is no meaningful on-the-farm oversight by state or federal authorities when it comes to animal welfare, and you have confinement systems that are inherently inhumane.” He urges consumers not to buy eggs from caged hens. The cruelty and connection to food-borne illness has prompted Pacelle to ask FDA Commissioner Hamburg to phase out cage confinement of hens. He says, “Let’s hope the FDA heeds our warning.”