314 Hens Saved When Truck on the Way to a Slaughterhouse Overturns

On December 18, 2014, a truck carrying thousands of battery hens to the slaughterhouse overturned, which led to the largest farmed animal rescue in Spain’s history.

Rushing to the scene of the accident to save as many as they could, Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary arrived at the crash site to find hundreds of hens were strewn across the road, and local residents were swarming to collect as many as possible so they could take them home to eat. Thousands more hens were still inside their cages, many already dead and others trapped, as the impact had crushed the cages, making it impossible to get them out.

Image credit: Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

Image credit: Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

With the help of volunteers, the sanctuary managed to save 314 of these precious lives, making it the biggest rescue to ever take place in the country.

When we heard what had happened here at Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary, we drove through the night to bring as many hens as we could fit in our car back to the sanctuary. Seeing the horrendous conditions they were in as we prepared to transport them to their new forever home was an overwhelming and eye-opening experience.

Aside from the horrendous injuries sustained from the accident, many of the hens had no feathers on their wings, tails and bodies, had painfully deformed feet, eye infections, tumors, retained eggs, and countless other health issues.

These hens had been exploited their entire lives just so people can consume their eggs, trapped in tiny cages the size of an A4 piece of paper, unable to spread their wings and denied all basic instincts. When they were deemed no longer useful, at just one and a half years old, they were crammed into crates and shipped off to the slaughterhouse. Caring for 314 sick hens is no easy feat, so to help make the job a little easier, six other farmed animal sanctuaries in Spain opened their doors to offer refuge to the victims.

Now safe and sound in sanctuaries all over Spain, the hens are recovering from the terrifying ordeal to which they were subjected. For the first time in their lives, they have been able to feel the earth beneath their feet, the sun on their backs, and the wind in their feathers. They have experienced what it’s like to peck the fresh green grass, bathe in the dust, and fully extend their wings without the confines of wire bars restricting their every movement.

hens rescued

Image credit: Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary

Fressie    Juno

Image credit: Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary

For the most part, the egg buying public are blissfully unaware of the conditions the eggs they purchase are produced in. Clever marketing and deceitful labeling hides a harrowing reality.

The modern egg laying hen is a painfully debeaked, tortured bird who is jammed into a tiny prison, squeezed together with 5 to 6 other tormented hens in pitch black sheds holding anywhere up to 125,000 other terrified and bewildered birds. Although it makes for uncomfortable reading, more than 560 million hens are currently living in cages worldwide, experiencing unimaginable pain and suffering and they need our help.

The majority of citizens support this cruelty by continuing to consume eggs, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Factory farming hurts everyone, and by rejecting these industries, you can help create a kinder world.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Sometimes I think the earth should be just put out into the freezing dark of space for a while to get rid of the monstrous suffering that is going on daily thanks to that cursed species.. humanity. But the animals don't deserve that either. Maybe a virus which targeted only humans and sterilized them all. Humanity would live out their sordid lives and maybe they would clean up their filth and toxins before they blinked out of existence.

Julia Cabrera-Woscek

Bravo for the fast moving heroes. Buy local!

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

I don't believe a word anyone says about this crud. That is why I stopped eating meat 25 years ago.

Cheryl coscia
cheryl coscia3 years ago

I thought that I always bought Free Range eggs and have watched other customers deliberately purchase Free Range eggs. I have heard that many of the so-called Free Range eggs are being fooled. I can't bare to think of any animal suffering, so can anyone enlighten me on how to purchase eggs from un-tortured hens?

Jennifer LeBorgne

Oh my! I almost started crying while reading this! Hearing that the locals were trying to catch them just to eat them instead of trying to help them disgusted me! Thankfully, sanctuaries stepped up to help them & the ones who were saved will get to live an amazing life from here on. Thank you for helping them! Thank you for sharing this story

Janis Keller
janis keller3 years ago

Very Nice story. Most chickens suffer in the egg industry... Stuffed and overcrowded into tiny cages. Please buy only "Cage Free" or Pasture eggs.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Thank you for sharing, another happy ending.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Glad to read so many were saved after all they went through, thank you for sharing

Bev Woodburn
Bev Woodburn3 years ago

Beautiful to hear how many of these tortured souls were saved and now have the chance to know what it is like to live a normal life and respect and compassion shown.
The caged egg trade must be stopped and banned forever. These helpless little animals don,t deserve to live their miserable and tortured lives in cages that they can,t stretch their wings or even move during their short lives. My heart aches for the trillions of innocent birds who are still living a life of hell and terror in these egg farms of horror.