Sunday, June 03, 2007
Five month investigation leads to chicken rescue by Gloucestershire animal activists.
Five months ago activists from Gloucestershire Animal Action learned of a farm in Gloucester which had been visited by DEFRA after the rotting carcasses of chickens and pigs were left causing a stench which had affected the local community.
Local press covered the incident in which the farm owner had claimed that around one hundred animals die per week at the facility. Activists visited the farm at Little Witcombe in Gloucester with the intention of documenting the condition in which the animals were housed which have resulted in the deaths of so many animals.
With our investigation footage we hope to highlight the reality of modern non caged “barn” egg businesses to show that free-range and barn eggs are in no way a guarantee that your food is ethically produced in many cases barn egg systems are worse than battery cage systems and if you wish to be a truly ethical person you really need to go vegan. The government has maintained that veganism is a very healthy way to live, you can almost half your carbon footprint in most cases and you can live a cruelty free lifestyle knowing that no animals or humans are being exploited for your diet!
The following is the account from one activist involved in the investigation:
“We entered one of the long sheds which hadn’t been secured properly late one evening, making sure to protect the animals inside we disinfected our feet and clothing before entering. To be honest I was expecting to have to search for animals in a bad condition but the reality was it was more difficult to find animals that looked healthy, maybe one in fifteen chickens weren’t in a bad condition. The air was acrid and filled with ammonia and dust particles and the fans didn’t seem to be working properly. The worker chart on the wall had said that 6 deaths had occurred in one day in a single shed and there are fourteen sheds on the farm. It would seem that this is the norm for a facility that holds more than 70,000 chickens.”
During the following months the activists returned to check the conditions which didn’t seem to be improving. After sufficient evidence had been gathered in order to highlight the plight of the hens inside a collective decision was made by those involved that we would attempt to rescue and give veterinary care to a small amount of the chickens (Thirteen in total).
The rescue took place during the early hours of a warm night in May, three activists entered a barn with animal carriers and recording equipment, footage was recorded and photos taken, the animals were then carefully loaded into animal carriers and into a converted laundry bag, they were then transported to a house for the night for food and water. The next morning they were taken to live out their lives at a sanctuary. It should be remembered that these animals have never experienced sunlight or fresh air and to see these intelligent creatures being given a chance to live with real food and fresh water in fantastic conditions brought those involved to tears. We can only hope that the remaining thousands of animals and billions of animals breed each year for our animal diet experience the same luxury one day.
Gloucestershire Animal Action are a peaceful group of individuals, we consider our actions to be totally justified and are willing to accept any repercussions as a result of our actions. During our visits we saw no signs which indicated that the property was private. We are aware that we have caused damage to a lock on the farm during our last visit and we will be sending a payment to cover the cost of replacing the lock however we will not be paying for the chickens taken. We however welcome donations via our website towards transportation costs and vet bills.
Note: The activists wear face coverings during the rescue to prevent identification this is for personal safety and to protect their freedom, animal activists have been imprisoned for years after rescuing animals from facilities such as this one.
For information about Gloucestershire Animal Action you can visit their website at www.stopanimalcruelty.co.uk or you can watch the full video of the rescue online via YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=JllgcO0f_Gg
Thank you for taking the time,
All the best,