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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Group protests hen treatment at Wegmans farm

Syracuse Post-Standard

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

By Jill Primost Contributing writer

Animal rights activists from the Community Animal Project picketed Wegmans in DeWitt Oct. 1 to protest the treatment of hens at Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott.

CAP and Compassionate Consumers, an animal advocacy organization based in Rochester, claim Wegmans overcrowds and mistreats its 700,000 hens at the Wolcott farm.

Wegmans said the claims are untrue and possibly fabricated.

Compassionate Consumers continues to circulate images from a short film, "Wegmans Cruelty," that purports to show crowded cages, hens living on top of each other and hens that have fallen into manure pits at Wegmans' farm. The group advocates for cage-free egg production.

"What they're saying is not true," said Jo Natale, speaking for Wegmans. "We run a good farm."
Natale said the film contains inaccurate information and questioned whether all images come from Wegmans' farm. Natale said that the farm is inspected and audited yearly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to Natale, Wegmans has met or exceeded USDA standards in each audit. Investigators found no evidence of animal abuse upon inspection of the farm, she said.

But animal rights activists say they will continue to contest Wegmans' claims of fair treatment of its hens. "USDA is a joke," said Shawn DeLeo, president of CAP. Regulators never give citations or fines, he said.

Ryan Merkley, campaign coordinator for Compassionate Consumers, insisted the footage in the film is accurate. The activists were wearing global positioning system devices that recorded their longitude and latitude, and the coordinates show they were at the Wegmans Egg Farm in Wolcott, he said.

Sept. 30, a Wayne County grand jury indicted three Compassionate Consumers activists, accusing them of breaking into Wegmans Egg Farm.

© 2005 The Post-Standard.

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