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Recently, shocking footage from a Polish egg farm has sent ripples of outrage throughout Europe. The images documented by workers employed on this poultry farm owned by Fermy Drobiu Woźniak, the largest egg producer in the European Union, portray a gruesome reality. Piles of deceased hens, twisted legs, pecked feathers, bloody eggs, and overcrowded conditions are just some of the distressing scenes captured. As the world watches in horror, Anima International, an animal welfare organization, is calling upon the EU to stand firm in its plans to ban cages for hens. This revelation underscores the urgent need for stricter animal welfare regulations within the European poultry industry.
This summer, Oksana and Sasha, two employees at a laying hen farm in the village of Wioska in central-west Poland, decided to shed light on the abysmal conditions these animals endure daily. The farm they worked on is owned by Fermy Drobiu Woźniak, which raises almost one million hens in cages and tens of thousands more in barns. Shockingly, one in five laying hens in Poland resides on one of Woźniak’s farms.
Oksana and Sasha documented their six-week work experience, revealing the appalling conditions faced by these birds. Their daily tasks included removing deceased hens from cages, many of whom had perished due to the harsh rearing conditions or had been killed by other hens in the overcrowded cages. Some hens had languished in cages for weeks, already in advanced stages of decomposition. Many of the animals displayed severe physical ailments, including missing feathers, deformed legs, and open wounds, and some had even died from exhaustion. Some hens even died while laying eggs, with the eggs still stuck in them.
Sasha describes the grim scenes, saying, “Sometimes they were blue, and fluids leaked out of them.” The hens, confined in tight spaces, often exhibited aggressive behavior, including pecking each other to death or resorting to cannibalism.
Currently, the EU is considering a ban on cage farming as part of its broader revision of animal welfare legislation. The “End the Cage Age” European Citizens’ Initiative, initiated by Compassion in World Farming and signed by 1.4 million people, has spurred momentum for this change. The European Commission is expected to present a legislative proposal on this issue in the upcoming autumn. However, recent reports suggesting the abandonment of these plans have alarmed animal welfare campaigners.
Fermy Drobiu Woźniak’s operations are not limited to Poland. They export 70% of their production to 60 countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Unfortunately, this means that millions of animals are subjected to similar suffering within the EU’s borders and beyond. This revelation serves as a stark reminder that animal welfare transcends national boundaries, necessitating unified global action.
Watch the video here.
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