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INVESTIGATION: Hidden camera reveals ‘free range’ hens that supply the Happy Egg Co.

Happy Egg Company is duping consumers into paying a premium for eggs produced by hens who they are told are 'happy', but they face the same filth, misery, and death as those on any factory farm.

EMER SCULLY: A hidden camera has revealed the living conditions of thousands of ‘free range’ hens at sites across the UK. Animal rights group PETA said they found the Happy Egg Company birds ‘miserable, bleeding, decomposing or dead’ when investigators recently visited three farms. The secretly recorded footage shows thousands of hens packed into filthy and dark sheds that were so overcrowded that birds had pecked one another through stress.

Campaigners said some of the company’s so-called ‘happy hens’ had died and their corpses were left to rot among living birds at the sites. PETA has now complained to the UK’s advertising watchdog that the firm was ‘misleading consumers’ in showing pictures of birds in lush open fields of green grass. Many UK supermarkets including Lidl, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, stock and sell Happy Egg Company eggs…

The shocking video appears to show balding hens covered in bloody wounds and activists say the sheds were piled high with faeces… University of Winchester Veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare Andrew Knight said: ‘The footage obtained by PETA shows chickens packed into industrial sheds with very little in the way of enrichment. ‘Despite evidence that the chickens’ beaks have been trimmed, it appears that feather pecking – suggestive of stress and frustration – is still going on. It’s hard to imagine that these chickens are happy’…

PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner said: ‘Happy Egg Co is duping well-intentioned consumers into paying a premium for eggs produced by hens who they are told are “happy”. ‘But the chickens we saw face much the same filth, misery, and death as those on any other egg factory farm’… ‘Even so-called “free-range” or “organic” egg farms restrict chickens’ natural behaviour, like foraging, exploring, taking dust baths, and roosting… ‘PETA is urging everyone not to be duped – the only cruelty-free label is vegan.’ SOURCE…

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