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HSUS Statement on Outbreak of Bird Flu at Baer Poultry Co. in Minnesota

The Humane Society of the United States is very concerned about the welfare of the millions of chickens being slaughtered on egg and turkey farms across the country because of the avian flu outbreak. It’s important to recall that bird flu is in many ways caused and exacerbated by the intensive confinement of farm animals that’s rampant in egg factories such as Amon Baer’s facility in Minnesota.

As Michael Greger, MD—author of Bird Flu: A Virus of our Own Hatching—points out in an op-ed on the topic in today’s Des Moines Register, “Overcrowding vast numbers of animals beak-to-beak in their own waste presents threats to human and animal health.”

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the US, notes: “Amon Baer is a reckless egg producer, defending the most abusive and extreme forms of confinement in the egg industry. He locks his birds in cages that are so cramped they don’t even meet the deficient, voluntary guidelines set forth by egg industry officials.”

Baer was one of the few major egg producers in the country who actively opposed federal legislation that would have phased in over a reasonable time period larger space allotments for laying hens. The legislation had the overwhelming support of egg producers, veterinarians, and animal welfare groups, and would have provided more stability for egg producers and consumers.

Media Contact: Anna West: 301-258-1518; awest@humanesociety.org

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