Mercy For Animals Calls On NFACC to Ban Cruel Cages After Disturbing Video Shows Dead Birds Rotting in Cages With Hens Laying Eggs for Human Consumption
TORONTO, July 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Disturbing undercover footage shot by Mercy For Animals exposing sickening animal abuse at a massive Gray Ridge egg factory farm in Ontario will be released during a news conference this morning. The video shows thousands of birds packed into filthy wire cages, hardly able to move without crawling over other birds. Severely sick and injured birds are left to suffer and slowly die without proper veterinary care, and the bodies of dead animals are seen rotting in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption. Mercy For Animals is calling on the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), which receives millions of taxpayer dollars, to update the recently released code of practice for the care and housing of egg-laying hens to advise egg farmers to stop using cages. Despite NFACC's purported mandate to represent consumer, marketplace, and societal expectations relative to farm animal welfare, the current draft of the code ignores them all.
Krista Hiddema, managing director for Mercy For Animals in Canada, will host a tele-press conference at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time at 1-800-686-0136.
The video, shot at Gray Ridge Egg Farms in Moorefield, Ontario, reveals widespread animal abuse and suffering, including the following:
- Thousands of hens crammed inside cages unable to freely walk, spread their wings, or rest comfortably
- Birds trapped in cage wire or under feed troughs, trampled by their cage mates and unable to reach food and water
- Dead hens, rotted beyond recognition, left in cages with hens still laying eggs for human consumption
- Birds with swollen eyes, bleeding prolapses, extreme feather loss, and other serious afflictions denied proper veterinary care
Caging hens is so cruel that nearly every major Canadian food company, including Tim Hortons, McDonald's, Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys, and Walmart, have pledged to switch to cage-free eggs. In addition, a recent poll shows overwhelming Canadian support for cage-free hen housing. A recent survey conducted by NRG Research Group found that 79 percent of Canadians believe NFACC should advise egg famers to use cage-free systems and 83 percent of Canadians said the government should enact laws mandating cage-free egg production.
NFACC will release the final version of the code of practice in December. Canadians have until August 29 to voice their opinions during the public comment period. According to the survey by NRG Research Group, the majority of Canadians agree that taxpayer funding for NFACC should be cut if the Council does not recommend cage-free housing for egg-laying hens.
"The use of cages is perhaps the cruelest form of institutionalized animal abuse and has no place in a civilized society," said Mercy For Animals' president, Nathan Runkle. "It's time for the National Farm Animal Care Council to advise egg farmers to stop confining hens in cages."
The undercover video and the poll will be made available at HenHell.ca.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals
Video with caption: "Video: Hidden-camera investigation exposes extreme animal abuse at one of Canada's largest egg factory farms". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20160721_C3756_VIDEO_EN_738850.mp4&posterurl=http%3A%2F%2Fphotos.newswire.ca%2Fimages%2F20160721_C3756_PHOTO_EN_738850.jpg&order=1&jdd=20160721&cnum=C3756
For further information: Krista Hiddema: 416-666-3093