For Immediate Release:
Sunday, March 2, 2003
Mercy For Animals: 937-652-8258
UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION EXPOSES SHOCKING CRUELTY AT OHIO EGG FARM
Group Seeks Animal Cruelty Prosecution;
Hen Rescued from Trash Can
Columbus, Ohio - Nearly fifteen months after exposing unspeakable animal abuse at Ohio's two largest egg factory farms, investigators with the Ohio animal advocacy organization Mercy For Animals (MFA) have again gone behind closed doors to shed light on the cruel treatment of egg-laying hens. Monday morning, MFA investigators will hold a news conference to release the disturbing findings of their latest investigation and demand that cruelty charges be pressed against the farm investigated.
Date: Monday, March 3
Time:11:00 a.m. sharp
Location: Ohio Statehouse Atrium
MFA's investigation into animal mistreatment at Weaver Brother Egg Farm in Versailles, Ohio, began in December, 2002 after the group's request for a tour was denied. In photographs and video footage, investigators documented numerous cases of grotesque animal neglect and abuse, including:
- Hens with broken, damaged, and feces-covered feathers packed into tiny wire cages so small they could not even spread their wings.
- Diseased hens suffering from huge, untreated growths and infections.
- Hens trapped in the wire of their cages, left without access to food or water.
- Corpses left to rot in cages with hens still producing eggs for human consumption.
- A live hen thrown away in a trash can, left to die amidst decomposing carcasses. MFA investigators rescued the hen, now named Hope, and took her to a veterinarian for treatment.
The cruelty documented at Weaver Brothers is, to the shock of many consumers, standard egg industry practice. In just the past two years, seven investigations at egg farms in Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota, and New Jersey have all uncovered similar abuses.
Professor of Poultry Ethology at the University of Guelph, Ian J.H. Duncan Ph.D., viewed footage taken at Weaver Brothers and stated: "The level of hygiene is appalling. Feces are caked to the cages and there is dirt everywhere. It is simply unbelievable that a food product for human consumption is being produced here."
"The most important thing consumers can do to stop the blatant abuse of egg-laying hens is to choose kindness rather than cruelty by refusing to buy eggs," says MFA director Nathan Runkle.
Details of the investigation will be available at www.MercyForAnimals.org on March 2. Broadcast quality footage from MFA's investigation will be aired and distributed at the news conference.