Cruelty Exposed at Queensland Egg Farm

For Immediate Release:

13 August 2020

Whistle-Blower Exposes Cruel Treatment of Chickens at Williams Eggs in Warwick

Warwick – Evidence from a Queensland farm has exposed that chickens used for egg production are crammed into small cages and forced to live amid their own waste and the corpses of their flockmates. The video footage and photos, captured at Williams Eggs in Warwick this year, show chickens who are missing clumps of feathers, injured and dead birds, and piles of waste accumulated on the floors of the sheds.

The eyewitness found that some chickens had been crushed by the feeders in their cages and that others’ wings had become stuck in the cage wiring. Several requests to remove injured birds from their cages were denied by the farm supervisor and owner, and they were left to suffer and die, succumbing to their injuries.

In addition, dead chickens were left to rot in cages for up to a week alongside live birds – again, despite repeated requests made to management to remove their bodies.

“Williams Eggs uses the phrase ‘Farm Fresh’ on its cartons, but consumers should look at the photographs and video for themselves and judge how fresh the conditions are for chickens,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “From the mother hens who are confined to crowded cages or barns to the male chicks who are disposed of by being ground up alive, cruelty to chickens can always be found in the egg industry.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. Like the chickens at Williams Eggs, the majority of those used for egg production in Australia live in severely crowded battery cages, where the wire mesh rubs off their feathers, chafes their skin, and cripples their feet. Because male chicks can’t lay eggs and haven’t been bred to produce excess flesh for meat, they’re regarded as useless. Before they’re even a day old, they’re either left to suffocate in a gas chamber or thrown into a high-speed grinder while still alive.

Keeping stressed animals in confined spaces makes factory farms the perfect breeding grounds for deadly pathogens like the zoonotic coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – which is believed to have originated in a live-animal market. The Australian poultry industry has experienced several outbreaks of disease – in fact, birds on an egg farm near Lethbridge in Victoria recently tested positive for H7N7 avian influenza virus.

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