Igualdad Animal press release; click here to view a gallery of photographs from the rescue, click here for video:

"Animal Equality / Igualdad Animal rescues ten hens

In order to claim respect for animals on International Animal Rights Day, Animal Equality presents its third open rescue, in which our organization released ten hens from an intensive farm where they were enslaved to produce eggs.

Seven Animal Equality activists (Ivan, Javier, Sharon, Eu, Conchi, Jose and David) - assisted by other colleagues on the outside - entered an intensive farm in Toledo (Spain) to rescue ten hens who were being exploited and documented the truth behind these places.

We entered the farm through an open door, and not using force at any moment. In many occasions, discovering the reality behind the hermetic walls of the animal exploitation industries is as simple as opening a door and looking inside. Tens of thousands of hens were inside and unfortunately we could only rescue ten, those for which we already had a home waiting. During the rescue we split into several groups and while some were opening cages and freeing the prisoners from their cells, others documented the action and another group recorded in video the lives of hens exploited for their eggs. A wheelbarrow with corpses in one of the corners of the farm reminded us that some did not even reach the slaughterhouse, which is where they all are sent when their egg production drops.

Once the ten hens were in boxes, we were ready to leave. We brought them in our van to a temporary shelter and the next morning they were taken to a veterinarian we trusted and he recommended a treatment for their recovery. The hens were suffering from vitamin deficiencies, had internal parasites, osteoporosis probably from the loss of calcium suffered due to laying eggs as well as from the absence of sunlight. They probably also had their liver damaged due to the hyperproteinic food they were forced to eat in order to obtain the greatest number of eggs from them.

Eight of the ten had hardly any feathers covering their body as can be seen in the photographs.

The lack of vitamins, the presence of parasites and friction with the bars of the cage caused the falling of the feathers. Stress lead to pecking one another and sores, leading the sores to worsen with each pecking. Cannibalism is common in systems of hen exploitation, therefore, the exploiters cut their peaks to reduce economic losses.

They are now in a good place where they are cared for and their needs are met, away from any kind of exploitation and where they can begin to enjoy their lives by taking long walks in the sun, digging into the ground or making their own nests from grass without the fear that somebody will harm them once they stop laying eggs.

The rescue was carried out on a farm with battery cages, with cages upgraded to be mandatory from 2012 throughout the European Union. But on farms where the battery model is not used, hens continue to be deprived of liberty, used as resources for human benefit and eventually brought to slaughter. In Spain, more than 47 million hens are victims of these exploitation systems that seek to meet our demand for eggs. Another 47 million male chicks -their brothers- are also victims of our egg consumption, although they are often forgotten and don't even appear in official statistics. In all farms male chicks are killed either by being crushed alive or gassed, simply because they don't lay eggs and aren't profitable for exploiting.

With this rescue, not only do we act to help the ten hens we rescued from their cages, we also want to claim the end to the use of all animals. This open rescue is an act of civil disobedience that also pretends to generate social debate. Today, animals are considered property of humans and, under that view, this action could be viewed as a theft or robbery by the owner of the center of exploitation and the speciesist laws that exist. But the laws are not always synonymous of justice. A little more than a century ago it was legal to enslave other humans, for example. It is unfair to see other animals as our properties, as if they were objects that existed for our benefit. Each and every one of them is an individual with her or his own interests which must be respected.

Regardless of any differences between us and other animals, we are all capable of feeling and we want to enjoy our lives without being enslaved.

We want to remind everyone that we can contribute to the end of animal exploitation by adopting a lifestyle that respects them. Not participating in their exploitation by going vegan is also saving animals in a direct way.

For the abolition of slavery animal.

Animal Equality / Igualdad Animal
Educate, Investigate & Liberate"