This 5-minute video -- "Cheap Eggs: The Rotten Truth" -- tells the story of what investigators found in the massive warehouses of Quality Egg of New England.
A new Mercy For Animals undercover investigation reveals shocking abuse at New England's largest egg factory farm - Quality Egg of New England (QENE) in Turner, Maine. The hidden camera video shot in early 2009 gives a startling glimpse behind the closed doors of one of the nation's leading egg producers, exposing the rotten truth behind battery cage egg production – heinous cruelty to animals.
MFA's investigation reveals:
- Rotting carcasses in cages with live hens still laying eggs for human consumption.
- Workers and managers killing birds by grabbing their necks and swinging them around in circles - an attempt to break their necks which often resulted in prolonged, torturous deaths for the hens.
- Supervisors and workers throwing live birds into trash cans, leaving them to be slowly crushed under the weight of other birds' corpses and unable to access food or water.
- Birds suffering from broken bones, bloody open wounds, and untreated infections.
- Hens confined four to six in tiny wire cages so small they were unable to stretch their wings, move freely or engage in other basic behaviors.
- Birds trapped in the wire of their cages or under the feeding trays without access to food or water, some with body parts, including their faces, pressed against moving conveyor belts.
- Management and workers callously kicking live hens into manure pits where they either drowned in liquid feces or likely died slow and painful deaths from illness, injury or starvation.
Numerous veterinarians and animal welfare experts have harshly condemned the conditions documented at QENE. Dr. Temple Grandin, perhaps the world's leading expert on farmed-animal welfare and an advisor to the USDA, stated "[T]he place is a filthy, disgusting mess and very poorly maintained."
Citing violations of Maine's anti-cruelty laws, MFA, assisted with legal council by Compassion Over Killing, has submitted an extensive petition to the local District Attorney urging that the company and the individuals behind the abuse be held legally accountable for such egregious violations of the law.
The findings of MFA's newest investigation are similar to those documented at numerous egg farms across the country in recent years - illustrating that animal neglect and abuse are the egg industry standard, not the exception.
As consumers we can choose to support kindness over cruelty at each meal. Adopting a compassionate vegan diet is one of the best actions we can take to prevent needless animal suffering and end the conditions documented during this investigation.
From August – September 2008, an MFA investigator worked at Norco Ranch in Menifee, CA, documenting standard egg industry animal abuse, including:
* Birds confined in tiny wire cages so small they couldn’t walk, perch, fully stretch their wings, or engage in other basic behaviors
* Ill birds neglected to die on top of dead piles – denied veterinary care or proper attention
* Workers killing birds by grabbing their necks and swinging them around in circles – an attempt to break their necks which often resulted in prolonged deaths for the animals
* Hens suffering from bloody open wounds and untreated infections
* Dead hens left to decompose in cages with birds still laying eggs for human consumption
* Birds trapped in the wire of their cages or under the feeding trays without access to food or water
MFA's investigation illustrated once again that animal cruelty and neglect are the egg industry standard.
Such investigative footage is further evidence that battery cages are inherently cruel and should be banned. In November 2008, Californians overwhelmingly voted "yes" on Proposition 2 – a modest proposal that by the year 2015 will eventually grant farmed animals in the state the ability to stand up, turn around, lie down, and extend their limbs.