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April 18, 2012

Kreider Farms’ Story Inconsistent in Wake of Egg-Laying Hen Exposé

In the wake of an investigation by The Humane Society of the United States documenting the treatment of animals at Kreider Farms—a large-scale egg factory in Pennsylvania—the company has made numerous inconsistent statements regarding the investigation. The HSUS’ president and CEO Wayne Pacelle issued the following:

“Kreider has had a lot to say about our investigation, but much of it has been contradictory.  There’s no dispute that our video taken at Kreider shows inhumane conditions and that the company keeps hens jammed together more intensively than the voluntary standards for housing systems used by the vast majority of U.S. egg producers. And there’s no dispute that, during the course of our investigation, FDA officials found salmonella.”

Contradictions:

  • Regarding Salmonella

On April 16, ABC News reported that “Kreider Farms also says the company has never had an outbreak of salmonella at its facilities.” However, the New York Times reported that Kreider “acknowledged that three barns had tested positive for salmonella.” And Kreider spokesperson Dave Andrews told WGAL that “one of the buildings did test positive for salmonella.”

While Kreider can’t seem to get its story straight, ABC News clarified the situation, reporting that a “spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration, which inspects egg farms, told ABC News that the Manheim facility was inspected in January and two of eight samples were positive for Salmonella enteritis.”

 

  • Regarding inspections

Kreider first stated that,inspections of our chicken houses were held on April 11, including from the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine.” However, the State Board of Veterinary Medicine does not inspect poultry farms. The Philadelphia Inquirer made this clear: “Only it was not the Veterinary Medical Board that visited the facility. The board licenses veterinarians; it does not inspect poultry farms.”

While Kreider tried to use its new “inspection” reports to claim that it proved there was “zero evidence of any type of animal abuse,” the Inquirer revealed that the inspector focused “solely on animal health issues as it does not have jurisdiction over animal welfare issues in the commonwealth.”

 

  • Regarding where the video was taken

TIME magazine reported that Kreider said,We have no evidence of undercover activity inside our facilities.” Kreider then told ABC News, “HSUS's video demonstrates no connection to Kreider Farms.” However, ABC affiliate WPVI reported: “Kreider also says the video is a case of selected editing and was shot primarily in its older style chicken houses.” [Emphasis added.]

Was the video shot in its older houses, or not at Kreider? ABC News revealed just how far in denial Kreider is: “After ABC News provided Kreider Farms with pictures and video from the Humane Society showing workers wearing uniforms with a ‘Kreider Farms’ logo, the company reaffirmed that it believed the video showed ‘no connection to Kreider Farms.’”

 

  • Regarding new buildings

Kreider told ABC News: “More than 80 percent of our chickens are housed in larger, modern cages.” And WHP TV reports that Kreider asserts “we have more space than industry standards.” In reality, just having larger cages doesn’t mean the birds have more room, since the stocking density in these “larger cages” is roughly the same. That means more birds can be packed into the larger cages. Additionally, most egg producers give their hens 67 square inches of cage space per bird—already a very small amount. Kreider gives its birds even less space than the industry norm: only 54-58 square inches per bird in these “larger cages.”

 

Media contact:

Anna West, 240-751-2669, awest@humanesociety.org

 

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