Eggland’s Best Supplier is Exposed as One of the Worst

Disturbing footage shot during an undercover investigation into one of Eggland’s Best suppliers has exposed more horrifying treatment of egg-laying hens, and raises yet more questions about why major companies aren’t dealing with cruelty and abuse in their supply chains.

The footage was taken by an undercover investigator for Mercy for Animals (MFA) at various Briarwood Farms locations in Rochester and Oakville, Washington. What was captured shows not only the violent and abusive treatment hens suffer at the hands of uncaring workers, but the disgusting living conditions for hens that are standard in the industry.

Hens are kept in cages with barely enough room to move and left to suffer from injuries and illnesses without veterinary treatment, while the bodies of those who don’t survive are left to rot among their cage-mates who are still producing eggs that will be put on store shelves.

According to MFA, the investigation was conducted between February and May, and while the investigator informed management about problems, no action was taken. A complaint has since been filed with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office in Washington that accuses workers of animal cruelty.

“Eggland’s Best is the worst to hens. Hens who lay eggs sold under the Eggland’s Best brand lead lives filled with horrific suffering and deprivation crammed inside filthy cages,” said MFA’s president, Nathan Runkle. “Eggland’s Best must do better by getting hens out of cruel cages―something many of its competitors have already done. It’s time for Eggland’s Best to make the socially responsible choice to go cage-free.”

Thanks in large part to consumer demand, dozens of major brands and restaurants have pledged to switch to cage-free eggs, while legislation that would require cage-free production has already been passed by a few states and efforts to end extreme confinement of farm animals are in the works in more.

Unfortunately, producers that keep supporting battery cages and overlooking abuse, while acting surprised and disappointed after investigations expose problems, are continuing to hurt both hens, and us by increasing the risks of food-related illnesses.

Bart Slaugh, Eggland’s director of quality assurance, told Philly.com that the footage was  “appalling” and “inconsistent” with the way Briarwood runs, and the farm itself has launched its own investigation. Yet at the same time, Slaugh tried to say Eggland was ahead of the game with about 20 percent of its suppliers being cage-free and more are making the change, adding, “It is unprofessional and unfair to represent us as the slackers when in actuality we are the leader.”

The hens at Briarwood Farms would probably beg to differ. While MFA is urging Eggland’s Best to go cage-free, the organization is, far more importantly, also calling on consumers to end this cruelty right now by leaving eggs off of our plates.

For more info on this investigation, check out EgglandsWorst.com.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

72 comments

Edith B.
Edith B2 years ago

I signed the petition, then got a notice that Eggland's Best has signed a cage free agreement following a petition from Mercy for Animals.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Ellen Emerson
Ellen Emerson2 years ago

Very sad to hear about such a large provider of eggs. If you must buy eggs make sure they are indeed from cage-free hens and not from horrible factory farming situations.

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Mari S.
Mari S2 years ago

My heart breaks for these animals -- LISTEN, for all of you who must eat animals, go to "HFAC" -- also, go to "CERTIFIED HUMANE Raised & Handled" -- at least on these farms these animals are treated with care, love and respect -- of course, you can STOP eating animal products altogether but, and I repeat, for those of you who STILL eat animals go to "HFAC" -- also, go to "CERTIFIED HUMANE Raised & Handled"

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W2 years ago

Thanks for sharing..

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Fred L.
Fred L2 years ago

Huge ups to the heroic work of Mercy for Animals undercover investigators.

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Ruth S.
Ruth C2 years ago

I wish people would understand how much animals suffer on farms!

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M Quann
M Q2 years ago

Ugh, no surprises I guess, they just don't get it, happy hens lay more eggs. I hope they go out of businesses.

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Anne P.
Anne P2 years ago

Commercial chicken factories are some of the cruelest places on Earth. Please ... if you must eat eggs, then keep your own chickens or buy humanely raised eggs at a farmer's market. Better yet ... stop eating eggs altogether. Instead of scrambled eggs, try scrambled tofu - delicious! In baking, use flaxseed "eggs" - work great!

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Teresa Antela
Teresa Antela2 years ago

Sad.

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