An Undercover Investigation of the Egg Industry

If you need more reason to support the California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty initiative on this November’s ballot or propose a similar initiative or law in your state, watch the video below.

Mercy for Animals went undercover at Gemperle Enterprises, a Turlock farming operation that supplies NuCal Foods, Inc., the largest egg supplier in the western United States.

Mercy for Animals is calling on Merced and Stanislaus Counties in California to investigate and prosecute the animal abuse under the state’s animal cruelty and neglect laws. Cal Pen Code § 597 et seq. Gemperle operates in both counties.  

Sick and dying birds seems to be the norm at this facility. The video shows birds that are ill, injured and disabled, with missing feathers, infections and open sores; there is no veterinary care or proper food or water. The hens live in filthy, squalid conditions in feces and the corpses of dead animals.

On top of that, workers are blatantly cruel in handling the birds, stomping and kicking them, breaking wings and bones.  

The birds are kept in "battery cages," with no more space to live in than a piece of 8 ½" x 11" paper. They can barely move let alone perch or spread their wings. This is how they live.

It is an understatement to say the hens are not humanely euthanized. The undercover investigator says, "The screams of the birds as they are pulled from their cages [to be killed] will stay with me forever."

Click here for more on the California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act.  Also, click here to read about how the USDA’s interpretation of the Humane Slaughter Act leaves millions of egg laying hens outside of its protections.

The State of California also does not require humane slaughter of "spent hens", meaning "older chicken hens which are considered too unproductive to retain as egg layers." 3 CCR 1245.2. Cal Food & Agr Code § 19501; 3 CCR 1245.1