RSPCA severs ties with Welsh egg farm amidst allegations of neglect

Animal Justice Project conducted extensive visits to free-range, RSPCA Assured egg farms supplying major UK supermarkets such as M&S, Tesco and ASDA, along with industry leaders like Happy Egg Co and Glenrath Farms, one of the UK’s largest egg producers, between December 2023 and February 2024.

In a shocking revelation, every farm investigated presented scenes of sick, dying, and deceased hens. Veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare, Andrew Knight, who watched the footage, stated he saw: “hens appearing to have been left to die, severe crowding, serious illness, and untreated injuries which would cause serious suffering”.

An RSPCA Assured spokesperson said: “This footage is very distressing to watch and we launched an investigation as soon as we were made aware of it.

“As part of that investigation, RSPCA Assured assessors have made unannounced inspections of the three farms that are members of the RSPCA Assured scheme. We’ve also analysed the footage to identify any breaches of the RSPCA welfare standards.

“We can confirm that we have suspended one of the farms, pending further investigation. This means they cannot market or sell any products under the RSPCA Assured label. Our investigation into the other two farms is ongoing and we are unable to comment further at this time.

Animal Justice Project is challenging the egg industry’s practices, particularly regarding the abandonment of birds to perish within their sheds.

The probe, featured yesterday in the Independent, closely follows the publication of a recent YouGov poll shedding light on consumers’ limited awareness regarding the origins of their eggs. All farms were RSPCA Assured at the time of filming. The charity has now dropped Ratford Farm in Wales, where the investigators saw “run-down facilities and instances of neglect”.

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