Funny that it should take an organization like HSUS, PETA, SHARK, Humane Farming, etc., to show the OWNERS and REGULATIORS of these places just exactly what occurs in these places on a normal, routine, day to day basis......and they (the "HumaneWatchers" who dont like us "meddling in their bloody business" are telling the world that we are making all this cruelty stuff up,..even accusing us of "fudging" videos and staging scenes! These people need to make an un-announced visit to anyone of these places and they will see for themselves.....or,...maybe they dontreally want to see, for they could be in denial no more. They would have an epithany, I would hope, and come round to the right way of thinking. It is NEVER "ok" to be cruel to an animal, even if WE ARE going to eat it. Hay, this is 5th grade suff! You ARE smarter than a 5th Grader, arent you?
April 7, 2010 by Ken Anderson
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is stepping up its campaign against what it calls “factory egg farms.”
At a news conference in Des Moines, Iowa today, HSUS disclosed the results of its latest investigation, which in its words, “exposed rampant abuse at the top levels of the egg industry in America.” HSUS showed undercover video which it says was shot inside the barns of two Iowa egg producers, Rose Acre Farms and Rembrandt Enterprises. HSUS says they are the nation’s second- and third-largest egg producers.
HSUS CEO and president Wayne Pacelle says the videos showed, what he called, “appalling abuses” of laying hens, including injuries from overcrowding, broken bones from rough handling by workers and high mortality rates.
“The treatment of these animals in these systems is unconscionable—it is inhumane—and it should not be acceptable for a society that says it values animal welfare,” Pacelle says, “and the agribusiness industry will claim it’s handling the situation just fine—and I defy them to make that argument in any rational and meaningful way after seeing the footage.”
Pacelle says switching to cage-free egg production should be, in his words, “a minimum moral imperative for the industry.
“The alternative is cage-free production, which is not just some unilateral disengagement from high-production systems,” he says. “You have industrial-type cage-free systems that are used all over the country—and they’re supplying WalMart, which has now gone completely cage-free with its private label.”
Pacelle says cage-free hens have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens.
AUDIO: HSUS news conference-opening remarks by Wayne Pacelle (12 min MP3)
Egg industry responds to HSUS video
The egg industry was quick to respond to the egg farms video released by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Wednesday, calling for a full investigation of the alleged incidents.
HSUS claims the video was shot inside barns owned by two Iowa companies—Rose Acre Farms and Rembrandt Enterprises—the nation’s second- and third-largest egg producers. HSUS calls the treatment of the chickens in the video “appalling” and calls for the egg industry to convert to cage-free egg production.
Kevin Vinchattle is the executive director of the Iowa Egg Council and Iowa Poultry Association. “We need to let both firms investigate and find out what the reality is,” says Vinchattle. “In the past, some people have gone in and staged things. We just have to find out what the reality is so we know what the appropriate response is—but the bottom line is, this is not how it is intended to happen, nor how it’s supposed to happen.”
If the video proves to be legitimate, Vinchattle says, then the problems need to be addressed.
“I have every confidence that those two firms are going to look at that—see if, in fact, any of it is actually from their facilities as HSUS has alleged it is,” he says. “If so, I know they’re going to investigate and they’re going to make sure that things like that are not happening—because that’s not what it’s all about.”
AUDIO: Kevin Vinchattle (12 min MP3)
Meanwhile, the organization that represents 97 percent of the nation’s egg farmers, United Egg Producers (UEP), issued a statement saying it is conducting a full investigation stemming from the HSUS undercover video. UEP oversees the egg industry’s animal welfare certification program, called UEP certified. UEP says its investigation will focus on Rose Acre Farms, one of the farms targeted by the undercover video and the only UEP Certified company mentioned. It says the other farm targeted by the video, Rembrandt Enterprises, is not a member of the UEP Certified program and cannot market eggs featuring the UEP Certified seal.
UEP says it ”takes the alleged violations of its stringent guidelines very seriously and is working to ensure full compliance. ”
Here is the full text of the statement issued by United Egg Producers:
(April 7, 2010) – United Egg Producers is conducting a full investigation stemming from undercover video shown today in Des Moines, Iowa. UEP’s investigation could include interviews with farm management and employees, review of its employee training programs, review of any photographs, videotape or other materials; and a on-site inspection of the farm.
The UEP Certification program does not tolerate animal cruelty, intentional abuse or neglect. All employees and supervisors at UEP Certified companies are required to sign an Employee Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct requires that “all birds will be handled with respect and dignity” and that “injured, sick or trapped birds need to be taken care of” and “proper euthanasia of sick, injured or cull birds will be conducted by a trained employee.” Violation of this policy (either through the employee’s direct actions or the employee’s failure to notify management of observed abuse or neglect) may result in disciplinary action including termination of employment and could be cause for the farm to be de-certified by UEP.
The investigation will focus on Rose Acre Farms, one of the farms targeted by the undercover video and the only UEP Certified company mentioned. UEP Certified standards are designed to assure that egg farmers treat their hens in a humane manner. The guidelines require that all hens are handled properly, receive optimum space, nutritious food, clean water, proper lighting, and fresh air daily. If deficiencies are found by UEP’s investigation, they will be corrected or the farm could lose its UEP Certification. However, the other farm targeted by the video, Rembrandt Enterprises, is not a member of the UEP Certified program and cannot market eggs featuring the UEP Certified seal.
As the industry’s leading animal welfare certification program, and one required by most retailers and food service companies, UEP takes alleged violations of its stringent guidelines very seriously and is working to ensure full compliance.
About United Egg Producers
United Egg Producers (UEP) is the nation’s leading egg farming cooperative for U.S. egg farmers, representing 97 percent of U.S. egg farmers, whose members produce eggs including modern cage production, cage-free, free range, organic and other specialty eggs. UEP is based in Alpharetta, GA. To learn more about the egg industry visit www.uepcertified.com.
Tags: Animal rights/welfare, egg production, HSUS
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April 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm
I cant believe that anyone would think HSUS would go into a place like that and have to fake the cruelty scenes. The animal cruelty and abuses that go on in MOST all of there factory farms is already well documented…not just by HSUS but by other orgs as well, PETA, SHARK, Humane Farming,…etc. No one with a half a brain can doubt that animal cruelty is the NORM at these places with the almighty dollar put waaaay before any considerations of the animal.
To those small-fry “HumaneWatchers” who think these orgs are out to shut your backyard operations down,…think again. You are the smallest fish in the big pond of production, but well, hey, yeah, if the shoe fits, wear it. We are out to STOP animal cruelty, period. If you are against that, well then, what can I say? Its NOT NICE to be Cruel, do DONT do it.
Will have the link to the undercover vid up soon