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Baby Chicks Cruelly Caged on British Egg Farm

28/10/2020 Updated: 18/11/2020

Animal Equality has today released distressing scenes of animal suffering covertly filmed inside an egg farm in West Sussex, England.

Kinswood Eggs confines around 320,000 hens who lay a staggering 72 million eggs every single year. The farm, accredited by the ‘Laid in Britain’ quality assurance label, supplies a number of UK wholesalers and local catering companies.

Animal Equality’s brave investigators visited Kinswood Eggs multiple times between June and September 2020. The footage has been passed to Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, the RSPCA, and Laid In Britain.

Cruel cages

We found hens packed into extremely overcrowded cages, in which they each had less usable space than an A4 piece of paper. In these cramped, harsh conditions, it’s almost impossible for hens to carry out many of their natural behaviours.

Many of these distressed birds were suffering from severe feather loss; some were almost completely bald with red, raw skin. Others didn’t survive and their bodies were left to decay in cages alongside living hens.

A lifetime of suffering

Kinswood Eggs raises chicks itself in order to save money. By keeping the birds in cages on its farm from when they are babies, the company can cut costs and strictly control all aspects of the animals’ lives to maximise the size of the eggs produced once they start laying.

Professor Andrew Knight, Veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, reviewed the footage and expressed concern: “Some of these birds were so tightly packed they would have had difficulty performing highly motivated natural behaviours, such as wing-stretching and wing-flapping, causing stress and poor welfare.”

He further noted: “Also visible were a chick trapped within the wire of a cage and several dead chickens within cages… predisposing to disease and likely increasing the rodent infestation common within such farms.”

Hygiene appears to be another major problem in Kinswood Eggs. Concerningly, toxic rodent poison was scattered around the sheds, on the floor and in broken egg cartons. We also found maggots, flies, and dead bodies of both hens and mice in bins of discarded eggs.

Help hens

These innocent animals need you. Please, keep eggs off your plate and choose plant-based options instead.

Take action by signing our petition to ban cages for hens and learn how you can help to fix this broken system: animalequality.org.uk/act/help-hens

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