US Largest Egg Farm Accused of Animal Abuse

An egg farm in Polk County, Florida, is under fire from an animal rights organization that released video Tuesday, saying it shows chickens suffering serious abuse. The Animal Recovery Mission, or ARM, said it conducted an investigation that lasted about three weeks during which an undercover worker was hired by Cal-Maine Foods’ Lake Wales egg farm. The ARM activist claims to have witnessed and recorded deplorable conditions, including chickens crammed into cages and, in some cases, living with dead birds, as well as quarters that were infested with cockroaches.

During a news conference, Richard Couto, ARM’s founder, told reporters his organization had a suspicion it would find unlivable conditions inside the chickens’ housing systems, known as battery cages, and he believes that’s what was recorded on video.

“What we basically wanted to do was to see what was going on behind closed doors at the Cal-Maine corporation and more in general, battery cage systems in the state of Florida,” Couto said. “We found horrific conditions, some of the dirtiest, filthiest of battery cage farms every investigated in our country.”

Cal-Maine is a major egg supplier for Walmart and Publix. ARM is hoping the two major chain stores will sever ties with Cal-Maine until it addresses the alleged abuse

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