Wegmans Cruelty: An Unofficial Blog

This is an unofficial blog and informational archive related to the WEGMANSCRUELTY film and resulting campaign.

Please see that page for more information.

Monday, July 04, 2005

NEWS VIDEO AVAILABLE:

"Activist Group Accuses Wegmans of Animal Cruelty"

13 WHAM, Rochester

Video

Chalonda Roberts (Rochester, NY) 07/03/05 -- A local animal rights activist group says it has proof Wegmans is mistreating animals on its egg farm.

The Compassionate Consumers illegally broke into the facility and video taped the animals. Wegmans denies the allegations.

The grocery store giant believes the group is using its name to get to the people who set the standards for the egg industry. [Note: Wegmans runs its own farm and sets its own standards: they are not ruled by outsiders in the egg industry.]

Members from the Compassionate Consumers describe what they saw in what they claim is Wegmans’ egg farm. "It smelled really bad. There were flies and bugs. Mice were running everywhere," Melanie Ippolito said.

Members of the activist group admit they illegally broke in to the egg farm. They claim they shot video there and now are trying to use it to bring charges of animal cruelty against Wegmans.

Wegmans denies the claims and questions whether the video used in the documentary is from its farm. "We follow very strict guidelines. We met guidelines before we were required to do so, guidelines that are put forth by the Animal Care Certified Program," Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale said.

In fact, Wegmans believes that program is the real target.

"It allows de-beaking. You saw in the video the chicks’ beaks were chopped off. It allows a practice called forced molting, where food and water is withdrawn at the end of the laying cycle to draw more eggs. So the chickens are starved for few days just to get them to produce more eggs," Compassionate Consumer Jodi Chemes said.

"We think it's wrong to mistreat animals. Hens that are mistreated and not cared for don't produce eggs," Natale said.

Wegmans claims its facility is state-of-the-art. There are 700,000 birds on the farm, which produce more than ten million eggs a year.
"We want people to start refusing to buy a product unless they know 100 percent that animals are not being tortured or treated cruelly in the process," Chemes said.

The activists want consumers to be able to make informed decisions about their purchases based on facts.

Wegmans does too.

Both the Wayne County District Attorney and the New York State Police conducted investigations. No charges were brought against Wegmans.
The company plans to press charges against those who raided the farm.

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