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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Letter to the Editor,
Newark's Courier Gazette, 9/23/05:

"MISTREATING HENS?"

Three members of Compassionate Consumers have been charged with burglary. Last year they entered Wegmans egg farm (Wolcott), and this summer they released a graphic video of conditions at the 750,000-hen facility.

The activists took several injured hens from the facility and found homes for them.Wayne County District Attorney Richard Healy contends that the activists broke the law, and that Wegmans treatment of hens is within the law.

But the ASPCA, which has police powers in New York State to enforce and interpret animal protection laws, contends that induced molting, an extended period of withholding nutrition in order to shock the hens into laying more eggs, is illegal.

In 1998, the ASPCA advised all New York egg producers that New York State law section 353, of Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets law, prohibited the deprivation of necessary food or drink for animals owned by the producers. The ASPCA says that induced molting is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

Wegmans did not press any charges against the intruders until after the video was made public. The video depicts hens packed tightly together in filty wire cages, all living in inhumane squalor. The activists recorded what they saw and gave this evidence to the district attorney - in hopes that Wegmans would be held accountable. This is not something one would expect from "real" burglars.

I believe the Compassionate Consumers members, who now face criminal charges, acted courageously, risking their freedom to try to expose the cruelties that are commonplace at most large egg farms.

Joel Freedman

Joel Freedman is on the Board of Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY.

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