Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 01:25 pm
An alarming investigation conducted by Anima International has revealed the grim reality of the largest egg producer in the European Union (EU) – Fermy Drobiu Woźniak. Workers employed on the poultry farm in Wioska, Poland, documented piles of dead hens, eggs covered in blood, and animals with twisted legs and pecked feathers.
The footage collected by the undercover workers, Oksana and Sasha, showed that the hens lived in close confinement, resulting in aggression and cannibalism. Many animals had deformed legs, wounds on their bodies, and some died of exhaustion, with eggs stuck in their cloaca. The workers collected dozens to hundreds of dead animals each day, with some having been lying in the cages for weeks in a state of decomposition.
A veterinary inspection carried out several weeks after the footage was collected validated the concerns documented by the investigative workers and Anima International has since filed a notice to the prosecutor’s office in Poland on the grounds of potential animal abuse.
The EU is currently considering a ban on cage farming as part of the revision of all EU animal welfare legislation. The European Citizens’ Initiative “End the Cage Age”, launched by Compassion in World Farming, has been signed by 1.4 million people. The European Commission is expected to present a legislative proposal on this issue this autumn.
However, recent reports of the plans being dropped have raised alarm amongst campaigners for animal welfare. Kirsty Henderson, Executive Director of Anima International, said: “Many countries are already transitioning away from caged farming systems for hens. The EU needs to follow through on its promises and do its part in eradicating animal suffering from our food system.”
Fermy Drobiu Woźniak exports 70% of its production to 60 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, meaning that 300 million animals suffer in cages in the European Union each year, including on the farms owned by Fermy Drobiu Woźniak.
Connor Jackson, CEO & Co-founder of Open Cages said: “This investigation by Anima International is deeply concerning and highlights the urgent need for policy change in the EU. We urge the European Commission to follow through with its plans to introduce a ban on cages for hens.”