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.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

(August 5, 2005) — Arrest warrants were issued Thursday for two animal rights activists who last year broke into the Wegmans Egg Farm in Wayne County and this July released a graphic documentary of conditions at the 750,000-hen facility.

Both are members of the local group Compassionate Consumers and will be arraigned at noon today in Wolcott Town Court, according to their defense attorney, Donald Thompson of Rochester.

Charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, are Adam Durand, 25, and Melanie Ippolito, 21, both of Rochester.

They could face up to seven years in prison.

A third activist, Megan Cosgrove, was along on the nighttime visits last summer but is not being charged at this time. Cosgrove has moved from Rochester.

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. spokeswoman Jo Natale declined to comment.

State Police Investigator Frank Daurizio in Wayne County helped prepare the warrants and confirmed the charges.

During their visits, the activists took nine injured hens from the facility, which has been owned by Wegmans since 1967 and is the largest egg farm in New York.

Two of the nine died from their injuries, said Durand, a packaging designer.

He took the video footage during the visits and later produced "Wegmans Cruelty," which shows injured and trapped birds and corpses in cages.

"Wegmans contends that the treatment of these animals is within the boundaries of the law," said Thompson.

"Members of the public might think otherwise. (The video) paints a pretty clear picture of what's going on."

A trial is possible, he said.

There are more than 200 large-scale egg farms in the United States, according United Egg Producers, an industry group in Atlanta.

At least 90 percent of them, including the Wegmans operation, follow a voluntary care program that regulates cage size and standards for food, water and transportation, said spokesman Mitch Head.



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