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It’s been a bad month for the egg industry. Only weeks after Mercy For Animals released damning video footage taken at the Hy-Line Hatchery in Iowa, Compassion Over Killing has announced details of their investigation into an egg farm owned by Minnesota-based Michael Foods. While employed at the facility in August, a COK investigator used a hidden camera to document conditions for hens in this factory farm, which confines more than one million birds inside barren wire battery cages.
COK’s video reveals hens immobilized in the wires of their cages, unable to access food or water; decomposing corpses left in cages with live birds; a Michael Foods employee decapitating a hen; and birds suffering from overcrowding, severe feather loss and untreated injuries. Thanks in no small part to the Internet, the public is able to see more and more of this indefensible cruelty, which is clearly routine and unchecked within agribusiness.
Michael Foods is one of the country’s largest egg producers, supplying eggs to several national restaurant chains, including Dunkin’ Donuts. COK has asked Dunkin’ Donuts many times about the treatment of hens in its supply chain and encouraged the company to make meaningful changes for hens ― and consumers ― by offering vegan doughnuts. According to COK, there are an estimated 6,400 Dunkin’ Donut stores in the U.S. alone, offering more than 52 varieties of doughnuts ― all of which contain egg and dairy products from animals forced to endure miserable conditions inside massive and mechanized factory farms like the one COK investigated. After getting no action from Dunkin’ Donuts, COK launched DunkinCruelty.com, which has prompted thousands of concerned consumers to contact the doughnut maker about this important issue.
Several animal welfare experts viewed the new video. Dr. Ian Duncan, Chair of Animal Welfare in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Guelph, said the hens were clearly enduring enormous suffering. “The most striking feature of the video is the large number of dead birds that are taken out of the cages,” he said. “[B]irds are removed that have been dead for a considerable time. The carcasses are covered in feces, and are rotting. In some cases, the carcasses are actually disintegrating which suggests that the birds have been dead in the cages for well over a week. In many cases the carcasses are very difficult to remove from the cages. This suggests that the hens may have been trapped while still alive and had a slow lingering death because they could not reach the food or water.”
“No responsible company should support this animal cruelty,” says COK’s executive director Erica Meier. “Dunkin’ Donuts can ― and should ― make the right decision by removing eggs from its doughnuts and offering more humane vegan menu items.”
What You Can Do:
Compassion Over Killing is asking people to contact Dunkin’ Donuts and urge the company to stop using eggs and dairy. You can call them at 1-800-859-5339 and send them an email using COK’s form.
Click here for additional ways to help COK.