An animal rights group which claims that chickens that produce for a major egg company were mistreated. On Wednesday, the group released video from an undercover investigation that sparked claims of animal cruelty.
A farm employee working as an investigator with Mercy for Animals allegedly took the video. The organization said the video shows chickens crammed into cages and treated poorly by staffers at a Washington state farm.
"This practice of confining hens is so patently cruel, the practice has been banned in Europe and several U.S. states," said Alan Darer, of Mercy for Animals.
Mercy for Animals shared video with media outlets and claims their investigator went to nine facilities that supplies eggs to Egglands Best.
Darer said the video is reason to demand the egg marketing company sell eggs from cage-free hens.
"Egglands Best has the power and the responsibility to ensure that eggs at their supplier farms do not come from hens confined in cruel cages," Darer said.
On Wednesday, the Independent Grocers Alliance, which represents over 1,000 retailers nationwide, said: "It is our goal to source 100 percent cage-free eggs for IGA by 2025 based on available supply. IGA, its retailers and its wholesalers do not tolerate animal abuse of any kind, and we expect our suppliers to adhere to accepted industry standards."
"Very concerning, of course, the treatment that is portrayed in that video. It's definitely not consistent with our standards," said Bart Slaugh, the director of quality assurance for Egglands Best.
Slaugh said that while the video appears to be taken Briarwood Farms, one of their suppliers, he contends Briarwood was not supplying their eggs during the time the investigator with Mercy for Animals claims to have been there.
"We are just looking to see what exactly happened there," Slaugh.
Briarwood Farms officials said they are taking the matter very serious and have launched an internal investigation.
As for Egglands Best, only 20 percent of their supplies use a cage-free operation. Slaugh said they are working to construct more cages, but did not commit to a timeline.
Video shows alleged animal cruelty by egg supplier
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