Animal Well-Being Important to America’s Egg Producers

Activists Should Also Be Held Accountable For Timely Reporting


November 21, 2011 – A new video released last week by an animal rights and vegan extremist group has charged one of the country’s largest egg farms with animal cruelty. It’s important that those who watch the video understand that extremist organizations such as Mercy for Animals are not truly focused on improving animal welfare – they will not be satisfied until all meat, milk, and egg production is eliminated.

Ensuring proper animal well-being is the top priority of farmers and ranchers across all sectors of animal agriculture. Farm practices are implemented with animal care, environmental stewardship, and food safety in mind. Most U.S. egg producers choose to raise their hens in small groups in modern cages because they have been proven to provide for better overall bird health and welfare. Visit to learn more about the benefits of modern housing for laying hens.
If you would like to learn more about today’s egg farms, visit the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s Youtube channel to watch a collection of videos, including farm tours and interviews with the people who help put food on your table.
The Alliance has long condemned the abuse and mistreatment of animals raised for food and works to promote animal care guidelines on all farms across the United States. We believe the severest penalties allowed by law should be imposed on all parties found to be involved in animal abuse, as well as those who failed to stop and report these actions immediately to the proper authorities.
The farm in the video has already begun its own internal investigation, and has indicated the employees shown violating the company’s policies were immediately terminated. However, the individual operating as an undercover agent for the animal rights group left employment prior to the video being released – without having notified company management of the policy violations – even though he signed an agreement to do so.
While all abuse or mistreatment is condemned, it is imperative that activists in such positions be held accountable as well for failing to follow a company’s policy to immediately report any mistreatment to the appropriate authorities. Their actions otherwise undermine the farmers and ranchers who have established policies to protect both their animals and their employees, as well as the safety of the food products they are producing.
It is unlikely to be a coincidence that Sparboe Farms was targeted by the animal rights extremist organization because it is not a member of the United Egg Producers, the national egg organization which recently entered into an agreement with another animal rights group on egg housing systems. The agreement included a conditional moratorium on so-called “undercover investigations” of UEP’s members.
Mercy For Animals Director Nathan Runkle stated at a recent animal rights conference that “the lifeblood of Mercy For Animals is our undercover investigations of animal agriculture”. At the same conference, another speaker indicated that farmers who did not join ranks with animal rights extremists would be targeted for undercover investigations. In referencing California’s 2008 ballot initiative that targeted the egg industry, David Wolfson, a professor at New York
University’s School of Law, said, “in California, if a farmer came out in criticism of the ballot initiative, they would be subject to undercover investigation and sued”. It appears his statement holds true in this case.
To be clear: the ultimate objective of these groups is not to improve animal well-being but to promote their animal rights and vegan agenda while running farmers and ranchers out of business with legislation and bad press.
The Alliance encourages consumers to get the facts about how their food is produced – and not just from organizations with agendas to discredit farmers and ranchers in hopes of driving everyone to a vegan lifestyle.
The Alliance also wishes to remind consumers that unfounded criticisms of the agriculture industry as a whole threaten both America’s farmers and ranchers and our nation’s food security. The Alliance believes it is critical that all food producers provide the best care and handling of their animals at all times. Farm operators should implement animal care policies, carefully screen potential employees, and hold all workers accountable for their actions. And the public should demand equal accountability from animal rights groups who hire activists to do “undercover” investigations yet fail to report alleged abuse to proper authorities at the time it occurs.
About the Alliance:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual farmers and ranchers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, suppliers, packer-processors, private industry and retailers. The Alliance’s mission is to communicate the important role of animal
agriculture to our nation’s economy, productivity, vitality, security and that animal well-being is central to producing safe, high quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives. Find the Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

Category: Press Releases

Tag: Eggs, Mercy for Animals,