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150 Activists Lockdown Brighton “Humane” Egg Farm After Horrifying Conditions Found

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Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) Brighton, UK has stormed a farm in the village of Broad Oak near Hastings named Hoads Farm.

150 brave animal rights activists (ARA) have taken a stance against the industry at large and Hoads Farm’s cruelty this morning at 6:00 am.

They are all wearing full biosecurity gear that includes hazmat suits, N95 particulate masks, and sterile gloves to avoid any accusations of contamination of the chickens crammed into this CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) as farmers have claimed previously in other cases.

The ARA from DxE Brighton have locked themselves to one another with heavy chains to protest the horrifying living conditions these chickens live and often die in.

Cameras and phones will be taking pictures, videos, and live-streaming to various social media accounts throughout the day with updates as this protest continues. We expect it to escalate further when the police show up as has happened many times in the past.

Owned by Potters Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs Ltd the farm and corporation touts a proud record of “ethical” standards and “animal welfare, high-quality standards, and sustainability” as their most important of values.

They make claims of a “hen-centric approach” and have only ever taken “genuine free-range eggs” to retailers. Potters Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs Ltd also holds ethical certifications from British Lion and most shockingly the RSPCA “Freedom Foods” program that cites five so-called freedoms as part of its certification which are:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease 
  4. Freedom from fear or distress 
  5. Freedom to express normal behavior.

On the “humane washed” surface this farm meets the standards customers want when looking for “ethical” “free-range” chicken ovulations for purchase at stores like ASDA, Tesco, Morrisons, and Sainsbury’s that this farm supplies.

But beneath that glossy carton showing happy hen cartoons in an idyllic setting of open pastures, bright sunbeams shining down with a traditional red barn in the background is the dark and disturbing reality that the public isn’t shown because these companies work hard to keep them just in the dark as the hens slaving away in filth.

This new undercover investigation that was just released this morning shows the deplorable conditions these hens confront every moment of their existence. The photos and videos document that these animals are not getting the promised 5 freedoms they espouse to consumers in their fraudulent marketing.

The reliability of any “humane” or “ethical” certification programs including those claimed proudly by this farm like the one from the RSPCA are not only doubtful but nothing but a worthless marketing gimmick used to charge more for the same suffering these animals have always endured.

“We are exposing a ‘free-range’ farm because we are demanding that animals be recognized as individuals with the right to bodily autonomy, we are not asking for better conditions. Other animals are not on this Earth for us to use.” Said DxE Brighton in their press release Vegan New received.

The pictures and especially the videos show hens living with infected and bleeding cloacae (the organ on birds where urine, feces, and eggs are secreted). Piles of rotting hen corpses are left scattered amongst the still living hens that struggle to survive in the filthy aisles.

Emaciated and dying hens struggle to breathe the feces and ammonia-soaked air while their egg packaging facility is pictured here drenched in rotting egg fluids which should be a health concern to any consumers who still consume these unhealthy bird secretions.

The packaging line is covered in rotting egg fluids causing health concerns for consumers. Photo Courtesy DxE Brighton/DxE Frontlines UK

“We visited Hoads Farm multiple times over 6 months. Many of the hens’ cloacae, from which their eggs are laid, were visibly infected, bleeding and swollen from forced overproduction. In the disease-ridden conditions, many piles of dead birds were found in the walkways among the living hens, and each time that we visited we found the same and new bodies decomposing.” said one anonymous DxE investigator

She added, “The dead will have died in pain, with many obviously trapped in the racks dying from starvation. One night we found a hen huddled in the corner, motionless and shaking. She had blood all over her head, suggesting she had been violently thumped or stamped on by someone. She was in clear pain and shock and hadn’t received any veterinary attention.”

“About 3 months ago, we found that depopulation had taken place since our last visit – every individual we had met in the months prior had had their lives taken from them in a slaughterhouse. The ammonia filled air and filthy shed remains with a new flock of 32,000 hens, who will also be killed in 14 months when they stop producing eggs fast enough.” 

A spokeswoman from the group said, “We have taken action today that some may see as radical, but our actions must match the severity of what takes place behind those walls.”

She continued, “These animals deserve to have their voices heard and by entering this exploitation facility, our goal is to shine a light on their experiences and be allies in their struggle against speciesism.” 

A vet nurse in attendance at the action said, “Naturally, chickens would lay 12-20 eggs a year but we have genetically manipulated them to produce over 300. This puts a massive strain on their bodies and causes them to suffer many deficiencies and even death, as we have seen here today and from the investigation.”

This new investigation comes hot on the heels of previous DxE investigations done at Kinswood Eggs Ltd in Horsham where the video footage shows the endless rows of hens crammed into small metal cages stacked one over another so feces and urine falls down through onto the unfortunate chickens under each other. 

The other was done at Grassington Farm in Brighton that advertises itself as “organic” and despite its all too common “humane washing” claims of being “high-welfare” the chicken secretion farm filled with thousands of suffering lives had bins outside of the hen sheds filled with the bodies of hens who couldn’t survive the harrowing conditions.

One DxE investigator said, “Hoads Farm is not simply an unfortunate one-off; it is representative of an industry in which animals are used as products and commodities. As long as this is the case, of course, they will be treated as nothing more than inanimate objects.” 

“Whether they are raised in cages or barns, free-range or organic, all 38 million UK hens have their lives taken at a fraction of their natural life span which is up to 12 years.”

It should be noted though that DxE is not the only animal rights group to expose these shocking conditions at these supposed “humane” “high welfare egg-farms” as DxE Brighton cited in their own press release.

Back in 2011 Viva! Documented the disgusting and inhumane conditions from their undercover investigation of The Happy Egg Co. farm that shocked many. Unfortunately, the mainstream media didn’t stay focused on the story for long and the publics’ cognitive dissonance got to stay intact as the company quietly swept the incident under the rug.

A DxE spokesperson commenting on the VIVA! footage said, “How, in almost ten years since this investigation, has nothing changed? The truth is out there, we are in a new decade and we cannot ignore this anymore. That is why we are taking action today; we believe it is the only way to take down this disgustingly deceptive industry.”

The three UK farms owned by James Potter Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs Ltd have been targeted by animal rights activists before including back in 2017 when the Animal Liberation Front (A.L.F.) liberated 100 hens from their one Yorkshire farm to mark the 16th anniversary of Barry Horne’s death. 

Mr. Horne passed away in 2001 after a long and controversial hunger strike while serving his 18-year prison sentence that he obtained from his numerous animal rights activities.

The video footage from the A.L.F. released in 2017 shows a similar scene of horror and desperation much like what is seen in this most recent investigation at Hoads Farm. Hens with most of their feathers ripped out from the cramped conditions, dead and dying birds, and overwhelming cruelty.

 A DxE spokeswoman commented, “Those 100 hens liberated by the ALF from a James Potter farm now know a freedom that they could never have experienced whilst being exploited by humans for their eggs.”

“We hope Hoads Farm will be ashamed of themselves for what they have subjected upon hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals, but this is not just about one farm. This is about every animal exploitation facility. It is about speciesism, the underlying concept of human supremacy that devalues the experiences, feelings, and relationships of other animals – merely because they’re different from us.”

You can keep up with this ongoing story here on Vegan News or across any of DxE’s social media platforms.

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Brandon Kirkwood

Animal Rights Activist (ARA), Vegan, Creator and editor of Vegan News, Father to an awesome cat named Boba, Youtuber

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