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The Humane Society of the United States has released the unconscionable results of its undercover investigation into an egg factory owned by Kreider Farms, a top egg producer in Pennsylvania. Among the findings:
Birds were severely overcrowded in cages more cramped than the national average; each hen received only 54–58 square inches of space on which to spend her life.
Injured and dead hens, including mummified bird carcasses, were found inside cages with living hens laying eggs for human consumption.
Hens were left without water for days when a water source malfunctioned, causing many to die.
Hens’ legs, wings, and heads were found trapped in cage wires and automated feeding machinery.
A thick layer of dead flies on the barn floors caused a crunching sound when walking on it.
“These allegations by the Humane Society are a gross distortion of Kreider Farms, our employees and the way we care for birds,” Ron Kreider, the president of Kreider Farms, told the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof. The Humane Society decided to investigate when it noticed Kreider didn’t support legislation that would standardize and upgrade the welfare of egg-laying chickens across the industry. The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012 is a delicious compromise between the Humane Society and the industry trade group United Egg Producers.