On July 12th, BC Egg released a statement that outlines their actions since they became aware of undercover video captured on BC Egg Farms late last month.
This incident serves an important reminder that it is the responsibility of each and every farmer to uphold the high animal welfare standards of our industry.
Please find the full statement below:
The BC egg industry has a zero tolerance policy for any mistreatment of animals, and strict policies and procedures that must be followed. We take any and all complaints or suggestions of wrongdoing extremely seriously.
Upon learning of the PETA video, an investigation was immediately launched. This investigation included an Animal Care Program audit completed by an Egg Farmers of Canada inspector and an independent third-party auditor, as well as a visit from an investigative team that included senior staff, peers, and veterinarians to ensure the hens are in good health and the facilities are maintained to expected standards. The following areas were examined:
- Feather condition
- Bird cleanliness
- Sick or injured birds
- Condition of the cages
- Condition of and access to feeders and drinkers
- Barn ventilation and temperature
- Manure removal system
- Air quality; and
- Management practices (employee training, inspection procedures etc.)
To be clear, there were three farms included in this investigation. On two of the three farms, independent analysis has determined that there is no risk to the welfare of the hens, in fact, the birds are in good health.
On the third farm, we are extremely disappointed that the farmer in question did not uphold the strict standards required as there were risks to hen welfare.
The hens on this farm will be removed and relocated. The facility has been decommissioned. It should be noted that as of June 21, 2018, all eggs from this farm were removed from the market.
CCFI Expert Panel Video Analysis
Egg Farmers of Canada and BC Egg asked the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI) to put together an independent expert panel to examine the PETA video. The panel was made up of animal welfare specialists and veterinarians. Their report is available on the CCFI website.
Our industry has a zero tolerance policy for any mistreatment of animals, and strict policies and procedures that must be followed in order to be an egg farmer in this country. While we are disappointed that one of our farmers has fallen short of those expectations, we are confident in our ability to act quickly and decisively in the best interest of animal welfare.