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.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Rochester ABC 13 segment from May 4. The segment includes footage that Wegmans allowed ABC 13 to take inside the egg facility.

Cameras Go Inside Wegmans Egg Farm

Last Update: 5/5/2006 8:48:03 AM

Video

Kyle Clark (Wolcott, N.Y.) - 13WHAM News EXCLUSIVE: Until now, Wegmans always refused requests from journalists to go inside their massive egg farm, but on Thursday, 13WHAM reporter Kyle Clark went on the other side of the fence with cameras.

Wegmans calls the facility “state-of-the-art.” Animal rights activists call it “cruel.” They made a documentary called "Wegman's Cruelty."

Inside, 13WHAM found 650,000 chickens, laying almost a half-million eggs a day. It’s an assembly line and all the workers are birds.

The birds are stacked in battery cages, an industry standard practice that animal rights activists oppose.

Activists claim the close quarters can cause feather loss. Farm Manager Jason Wadsworth says that's normal.

Wegmans is very up-front about what happens here. These are not house pets; this is a business--big business--and that's also why they are so protective.

Visitor must wear full body clean suits because they don't take the normal daily precautions each farm employee does like no pet birds at home and no contact with wild birds.

The fear? Bird flu.

Wadsworth said, "Just think about 700,000 chickens and if they all got sick. Basically, the egg supply to the stores would stop."

There is a huge manure pit, the bottom floor of the laying house where the chicken's feces drops and piles up. Yes, it does smell, but mega-ventilation keeps the stink tolerable.

The massive egg conveyor belt system takes each egg away for inspection and packaging. Chickens too sick to lay eggs are worthless to the company are killed.

Once their peak egg-laying months are up, chickens are shipped off to a processing plant.

"They will then turn the chicken into a soup product, TV dinners, chicken nuggets, I mean, you name it," Wadsworth said.

Since the animal activists broke into the facility, Wegmans has added half a million dollars worth of extra security, fencing, overhead cameras, and thermal sensors to the facility.

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