Must-read blog post by HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle on today’s Cal-Maine egg investigation. Two key paragraphs:
When you have such consistent problems revealing themselves—remember now, we are talking about the nation’s top three producers with nearly 50 million hens under their control—it is clear that something is rotten in the industry. 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. Even the best-managed cage systems present animal welfare problems that cannot be solved by careful stewardship and adherence to best practices.
The trade association for the industry, the United Egg Producers (UEP), says it maintains an animal welfare program. We’re glad it acknowledges the need for such a program, and glad that one exists, since the situation could be even worse. But the current program is miserly when it comes to the care of these creatures (read more here). If animals cannot even extend their wings, if they never get out of an overcrowded cage, and if they live on wire floors in barren cages without perches, nest boxes, or any enrichments, what does the animal welfare standard really mean?
Given last summer’s enormous egg recalls, today’s HSUS’ investigation couldn’t come at a better time. Wayne’s blog piece does a great job of indicating how his group intends to use today’s video to further imperil the battery egg industry.
I believe the past few years have made clear that the battery egg industry has no future, and the only question regards how many more years it can hang on. Link.