Today, the Humane Society released a report and video of their undercover investigation into the treatment of animals at Kreider Farms' Pennsylvania egg factory. And it is not pretty. The report alleges things like overcrowded cages, decapitated birds, and notes that "injured and dead hens, including mummified bird carcasses, were found inside cages with living hens laying eggs for human consumption." The report further accuses Kreider Farms of being one of the few egg producers in the US that does not support legislation to improve conditions for laying hens.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof takes up the cause in an op-ed today, noting that while he's never particularly thought much of chickens — they're pretty dumb, right? — he supports the legislation:
"For those who are wavering, think for a moment about the arc of empathy. Centuries ago, we humans amused ourselves by seeing other people executed or tortured. Until modern times, we considered it sport to see animals die horrible deaths. Now our sensibilities have evolved so that there is an outcry when animals are abused — unless it happens out of sight on farms."
Naturally, according to ABC News, Kreider Farms is calling the allegations "a gross distortion," insisting the company is "leading the industry by tearing down old, traditional-style egg houses and replacing them with new, state-of-the-art facilities. More than 80 percent of our chickens are housed in larger, modern cages." Video on the company's website shows much better conditions for the hens. Here's the video from the undercover investigation:
Video: Animal Suffering, Filth, and Hen Corpses at Kreider Egg Farms
· Animal Suffering, Filth, and Hen Corpses at Kreider Egg Farms [Humane Society]
· Is an Egg for Breakfast Worth This? [NYT]
· Pennsylvania Egg Factory Accused of Animal Cruelty, Filth [ABC News]