Whistle-blower footage from a Queensland farm has exposed that chickens are crammed into cramped cages and forced to live amongst their own waste and the corpses of their flockmates – just so Australians can eat their eggs.
The footage and photographs, captured earlier this year at Williams Eggs in Warwick, show chickens who are missing clumps of feathers, injured and dead chickens, and contaminated waste accumulated on the floors of the sheds.
Some chickens had been crushed by feeders inside their cages, while the wings of others had become stuck in the cage wiring. Several requests to remove the injured birds from the cages were denied by the farm supervisor and owner, so the birds were left to suffer and die in their cages.
Meanwhile, dead chickens were also left to rot in cages for up to a week, alongside other live birds, again, despite repeated requests to management to remove their bodies.
Cruel but Not Uncommon
Like the chickens at Williams Eggs, the majority of chickens used for eggs in Australia live in severely crowded battery cages, where the wire mesh of the enclosures rubs off their feathers, chafes their skin, and cripples their feet.
This is what the female victims endure.
Because male chicks can’t lay eggs and haven’t been bred to produce excess flesh for meat, they’re regarded as useless. At less than a day old, they’re either left to suffocate in a gas chamber or thrown into a high-speed meat grinder while still alive.
Breeding Grounds for Disease
Public-health experts believe that COVID-19 originated in a live-animal market, where filthy conditions and the presence of stressed animals created a breeding ground for deadly pathogens. While bats and pangolins are the suspected reservoir species for the novel coronavirus, deadly outbreaks such as those of avian flu, swine flu, and other zoonotic diseases have come from domesticated animals used for food.
The Australian poultry industry has experienced several outbreaks of disease,
and in fact a free-range farm near Lethbridge in Victoria has recently tested positive for H7N7 avian influenza virus.
Williams Eggs are advertised as being “farm fresh” on their cartons, but what is “fresh” about the conditions these chickens are forced to endure?
The mixture of mounting faeces, loose feathers, and live and dead chickens crammed into cages witnessed by the whistle-blower should cause anyone concerned about zoonotic diseases to shun anything that comes from factory farms.
Take Action for Chickens
Chickens are sensitive animals who dream, communicate, and defend their young just as humans do.
Regardless of what assurances you’re given on the packaging, eggs are a product of mother hens who have been manipulated to lay far more frequently than they can healthily sustain and who will be slaughtered for their trouble. The egg industry forces social, intelligent animals into dark sheds and cages for profit and tosses living male chicks into grinders.