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Dumping of Hens a Reckless and Irresponsible Act

14 December 2004

Dumping of Hens a Reckless and Irresponsible Act

In response to today’s media coverage of the dumping of hens beside the Waitaki River over the weekend, Egg Producers Chief Executive, Michael Brooks, has urged both the SPCA and the media to keep their focus on the real issue – the reckless dumping of the hens by the side of the road.

“This is about a reckless idiot who bought 600 domesticated farm hens, drove a few kilometers up the road and then dumped the poor birds in the wild - without any food, water or shelter,” says Brooks.

Mr Brooks described the dumping of the hens as a totally irresponsible stunt and expressed disappointment at the efforts of certain parties to twist this into an issue of cage egg farming. Mr Brooks also called upon the SPCA to condemn the stunt.

“That a dozen of the 600 birds perished during their freezing two day vigil, while denied both food and water, is not surprising. However, it had nothing whatsoever to do with their being cage farm hens,” says Brooks.

Indeed, Mr Brooks points out that local Veterinarian, Matt O’Sullivan, reported that the birds “were essentially very healthy”.

“Yes, some of the birds were missing feathers. These were ‘end of lay’ birds. Indeed, that is why they were sold. The malting process is a perfectly natural process for these birds at this time.

“Yes, some of the birds had tipped beaks. Beak tipping is a practice accredited by the SPCA and deemed a necessary practice for all forms of egg farming – cage, barn and free-range egg farming. The Egg Producers Federation is fed up with the active perpetration of the myth that beak tipping is practiced only on cage hens,” says Brooks.

Mr Brooks stresses that the focus needs to be on exposing this incident for what it was - a stupid stunt by a misguided individual.

ENDS

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