Behind the walls of Sunny Farm, an ‘enriched’ colony cage egg farm run by East Anglia's leading egg producer, Bird Bros, we exposed a much darker truth.
Our covert investigation has revealed despair, death and decay in the depths of this 'megafarm', which supplies major UK supermarket, Lidl.
Despite their claims that "the happier the birds, the tastier the eggs", our investigation has revealed misery, sickness and abuse at the heart of this British Lion-certified hellhole.
Hens were left trapped and dying in the cage mesh, gasping for air, being trampled on by other hens. We filmed dead hens left in cages to decompose, some so rotten and mangled that they were stuck to the cage mesh.
'Enriched’ cages used in colony cage farms are supposed to allow hens to carry out natural behaviours with ‘enrichments’ such as a dust bath and nesting box. Hens were packed into severely crowded cages, stepping on other collapsed hens. Extreme feather loss affected many birds; their delicate skin looked sore to the touch.
Hens were treated as little more than objects by workers. This hen was callously necked by a farm worker with his bare hands. She was seen still trying to lift her head after having her neck wrung, likely still alive and suffering. This worker was also filmed viciously hitting hens with a shovel.
Smashed eggs were piled-up on the filthy shed floor. Some eggs, awaiting collection, were left touching dead hens’ rotting bodies. Faeces from the cages above dripped down onto hens’ heads, and dead birds were thrown carelessly into gangways, shoved into black bin bags and then burnt in an open-top incinerator.
“These chickens were housed within barren environments which clearly compromised their welfare, causing suffering. The severe crowding and barren caged environment left these birds very little room to move, or to exercise highly-motivated natural behaviours, such as foraging, exploring and dust-bathing. Due to cage crowding, in one case another hen was observed walking over the body of one of these living, collapsed hens. None of these instances indicate sufficient levels of inspection, nor appropriate veterinary care.”
Andrew Knight, MANZCVS, DipECAWBM (AWSEL), DipACAW, PhD, FRCVS, PFHEA
Eggs from this hellhole will end up on the shelves of Lidl, who claim to follow the ‘Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare’ to support a so-called ‘life worth living’.
Tragically, what we witnessed violated every single one of these freedoms, proving once again that supermarkets’ welfare claims mean absolutely nothing to animals who are imprisoned on farms.
Join us in demanding that Lidl drop Bird Bros as a supplier immediately in light of our horrific findings.
For the animals.