Hats off to Mercy for Animals, as one of its investigators gained employment at a California egg factory farm which is not only one of the largest egg producers in the state, but is also part of the single largest in-state financial contributor to the agribusiness opposition campaign for the November ballot measure.
The video shows workers violently forcing young birds into cages where they’re confined so tightly they can’t even spread their wings. Many are forced to live in cages with rotting corpses. After almost two years, workers forcefully remove birds in order to slam them into a metal kill cart which gasses them to death with carbon dioxide. The video also shows a worker stomping on a live bird before kicking her into the manure pit, and a manager swinging a bird around by her neck.
There’s been a firestorm of news coverage in the state about the investigation and its relevance to the ballot initiative, starting with the Bay Area ABC affiliate’s fantastic exclusive [linked to yesterday on Vegan.com] and its follow-up story on state lawmakers’ reactions. These both are must-watch stories.
The LA Times ran a powerful piece which begins, “An animal protection organization is throwing back the curtains on the West Coast’s largest distributor of eggs, releasing a hidden-camera video that shows chickens being mistreated by handlers and locked in cages so small the birds can’t spread their wings.”
The AP and UPI ran stories on their wires, and Sacramento’s KCRA ran a strong piece too, along with a follow-up story with the egg producer’s response. Numerous other TV stations and newspapers covered the story, but this is a good sampling.