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“Act of God” Exposes Egg Industry’s Body and Soul

Listen to the report
(RealAudio format)

Another reason to boycott the egg industry

It was called a “natural disaster” – and “Act of God” – but there was nothing “natural” about the immense animal suffering that occurred when tornadoes hit the Buckeye Egg Farm in Croton, OH.

Similar tragedy occurs every day in henhouses across the country; see the investigations listed on our video links page.

The Buckeye Egg Farm is one of the largest egg factories in the country, and uses 15 million hens for its egg production operation. Like typical egg factory farms, the hens are housed in large warehouses and each chicken building holds between 80,000 to 100,000 birds. The birds are crowded into wire “battery cages” stacked three rows high. Feed, water and manure disposal systems in the buildings are

Tornadoes struck twelve of Buckeye’s chicken buildings, revealing the body of animal agriculture, usually hidden from the public. Over one million animals became trapped in cages without food, water or shelter – the victims of a disaster caused – not by tornadoes -- but by large

Farm Sanctuary and other animal protection groups contacted Buckeye Egg Farm and after three days of phone calls and faxes – and urgent pleading – the egg operation agreed to give hens to animal sanctuaries. Within hours, dozens of animal advocates started mobilizing to transport birds to shelters. But as the days past and most of the birds continued languishing in cages, advocates urged Buckeye to remove all of the surviving birds from cages and set up fenced holding areas where the animals could receive necessary food, water and care.

Although Buckeye set up one holding area, the majority of birds were thrown directly from cages into the buckets of front end loaders by Buckeye employees. The buckets full of live birds were then unloaded into dumpsters, where the birds were killed by crushing, suffocation or CO2 gas.

On September 29th – nine days after tornadoes hit – Buckeye Egg Farm announced it was stopping the rescue effort and would no longer remove hens from the cages due to “worker safety” concerns. In a press release issued by Buckeye Egg Farm, Bill Glass, Buckeye Egg’s chief operating officer stated that “the work performed to rescue our hens had become physically and emotionally ”

With the support of dozens of national and local animal protection groups, Farm Sanctuary urged Buckeye to start removing the live birds from cages again, so the animals would not die a slow, painful death from starvation and neglect. It was also discovered that OSHA (the government agency responsible for worker safety issues) had not told Buckeye they had to stop removing the birds due to worker safety violations. After informing Buckeye officials that this reason was not valid, Buckeye reversed its decision within two days and allowed animal protection groups to continue rescuing birds.

But time was clearly running out for the hens. When advocates went to Buckeye on October 1st to pick up more hens, a Buckeye official revealed the soul of animal agriculture, and told us they did not want to continue removing birds from the cages – despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of birds were still alive. Apparently Buckeye Egg Farm’s attempt to put a positive spin on the situation was no longer working – or “economical”

On October 3rd – 14 days after the tornadoes ripped through the egg farm – Buckeye suspended the rescue effort. Demolition crews moved in with heavy equipment to clear out the chicken building sites. More than one half million chickens, still trapped alive in the wreckage, were crushed to death or buried alive.

What can you do? Go vegan and stop supporting these industries!