Last weekend, Animal Place—a California-based farmed animal sanctuary—rescued 1,000 chickens from being gassed to death at an Iowa egg farm.
As unsafe working conditions, restaurant closures, and a slowed meat export market force slaughterhouses nationwide to shut down, many farmers have begun killing surplus animals en masse.
Methods approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association include gassing birds to death with carbon monoxide, covering birds with foam so they suffocate, and slamming piglets headfirst into the ground.
After hearing that an Iowa egg farm was gassing the majority of its 140,000 hens, Animal Place contacted the farm and convinced the farmer to let them take 1,000 birds.
According to Animal Place, staffers and local volunteers found dark buildings full of thousands of frightened birds. Many hens had already been gassed and buried. The remaining chickens were crammed 10 at a time into a tiny cage. Some hens lived in cages next to birds dead from starvation, as the farmers had stopped feeding them.
A generous donor paid for two charter planes to take all 1,000 chickens from Iowa to California. Animal Place’s animal care director, Hannah Beins, stated:
The entire process, from the 27-hour drive, arriving at the farm at 3 a.m., loading and unloading full crates from the planes and vehicles, and going straight to caring for them once we arrived at the sanctuary was the most exhausting experience I’ve ever had. I would do it again in a heartbeat, because until their rescue, these hens never got to touch grass or feel the sunshine, and now they can live out the rest of their lives as chickens should.
The hens are being cared for until they are ready for adoption. Chickens who are too ill or injured to be adopted will receive loving care at Animal Place for the rest of their lives.
Animal Place executive director Kim Sturla stated:
Given the distance and the logistics, our staff and supporters had to step up even more than usual. Unfortunately, not even we can take in 100,000 hens, which is a drop in the bucket of the hundreds of millions of hens killed annually by the egg industry, even in a typical year without a global pandemic.
While these hens are now safe, thousands of animals around the country are still being cruelly killed. To add insult to injury, the powerful meat industry is asking the federal government for a bailout as they conduct these horrific mass killings.
Tell the USDA not to use taxpayer dollars—in the form of stimulus funds—to pay for this animal cruelty. Sign our petition: mercyforanimals.org/NoSlaughterBailout.