"AAA was informed, in detail, of the horrific conditions which these hens have been subjected to at this particular farm and we have received extensive photographs and video footage taken yesterday morning (11.2.04), which was obtained by the activists." says Deidre Sims, AAA spokesperson.
"Inside the shed, long rows of tiered small wire cages, were filled with the decomposing bodies of thousands of hens which had obviously starved to death due to an inadequate food supply and the complete lack of drinking water. Live, emancipated hens shared their cages with their dead companions. Other live sickly hens were loose inside the building as well as outside the property. Dozens of rats, were all over the premises, many were seen inside the cages living off the dead birds. Heaped piles of the putrid, rotting bodies of hens where found throughout the building. The flooring was covered in excrement which was, in some places, several inches thick."
In the video footage and photographs obtained, a large box which is labeled "Handle with care: Property of Mainland Poultry Ltd" can be clearly seen.
Footage also includes activists rescuing birds. Fourty four sick, emaciated hens were rescued by the activists and have been placed in loving homes and are receiving veterinary care.
"As an organisation
of people deeply concerned with the welfare and rights of animals, we were
sickened and appalled while watching the video footage of the horrendous conditions
within this farm and at the extreme and unnecessary suffering which these
hens have endured and some still continue to endure. This farm is clearly
in violation of the five basic requirements of the Codes of Welfare for Layer
Hens which are that, hens must be free from thirst, hunger and malnutrition,
that there must be provision of appropriate comfort and shelter, that there
must be prevention of injury, disease or infection, that the hens must be
free from distress and that they must have the ability to display natural
patterns of behavior."