Sparboe Farms, one of the nation’s largest egg suppliers, has been exposed by activists from the group Mercy for Animals. The group shot and released undercover video showing an employee swinging a bird by its feet, hens packed together in cramped cages, male chicks thrown into bags and suffocated, and employees cutting the tips of chicks beaks off.
Immediately after viewing the video McDonald’s dropped the egg supplier. McDonald’s Vice President for Sustainability stated, “The behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald’s wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers,”
Target quickly followed suit, dropping and denouncing the farm and pulling their eggs from all stores in the Litchfield, Minnesota area.
Sparboe, the fifth largest egg producer in the nation supplying 26 states, had received a letter of warning from the Food and Drug Administration prior to the undercover video, citing “serious violations” at five facilities in regards to the guidelines to prevent salmonella.
Amidst allegations of cruelty, Sparboe Farms’ president and owner, Beth Sparboe Schnell, stated the company was “shocked and deeply disturbed” and planned to create a task force to review safety and animal care practices. The four employees identified in the video were fired.