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The pandemic is affecting many businesses including the meat, dairy, and egg industries. However, these industries revolve around so much cruelty that the amount of death only increases when these businesses struggle. A few weeks ago, pork producers threatened to kill baby pigs unless they got the bailout they wanted, a chicken plant was forced to kill 2 million chickens, and millions of pigs are rotting in compost due to the pandemic. An egg farm in Fort Dodge, Iowa is struggling so much they plan to depopulate 100,000 chickens because they needed to scaled down due to COVID-19.

Farm animal sanctuary Animal Place knew they had to do something to save as many animals as possible. Therefore, they chartered private planes (paid for by a generous donor) to fly 1,000 hens from Iowa to their sanctuary in Grass Valley, California.

The lucky 1,000 hens will be nursed back to health and then adopted into backyard flocks throughout California. Any hens who are too ill to be adopted will remain at the sanctuary and receive lifelong care.

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Image Source: Courtesy of Animal Place

Animal Place executive director Kim Sturla told One Green Planet: “Given the distance and the logistics, our staff and supporters had to step up even more than usual. Unfortunately not even we can take in 100,000 hens, which is a drop in the bucket of the hundreds of million hens killed annually by the egg industry, even in a typical year without a global pandemic.”

It was a difficult rescue that involved a 27-hour drive, lots of loading and unloading, and then having to quickly care for the animals in need. However, Animal Place animal care director Hannah Beins told us: “I would do it again in a heartbeat, because until their rescue these hens never got to touch grass or feel the sunshine, and now they can live out the rest of their lives as chickens should.”

Animal Place is now celebrating the rescue of the hens by serving 1,000 vegan lunches to local farmworkers and their families.

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