Plans for giant egg farm withdrawn following damning Animal Aid investigation

Posted on the 12th November 2015

Fridays Ltd has withdrawn its application to build a giant egg farm in Kent, just two days after Animal Aid provided the local council with shocking footage from two of the company’s other farms.

Despite being billed as ‘free-range’, the planned egg farm would have kept 64,000 hens at a time in crowded sheds, with just limited access to the outside. The two farms investigated by Animal Aid were part of Fridays’ caged egg operation and revealed shockingly low standards of animal welfare. At one of the farms, a large number of birds were suffering from severe feather loss, and some were entirely bald across large sections of their body. This terrible feather loss is likely to have been caused by the stress of being closely confined and having virtually no freedom to express natural behaviour.

At the other farm investigated by the national campaign group, the birds had been introduced to the shed just hours before so had not yet reached such a miserable state. But in some cages, Animal Aid’s investigator found that the scratching mats — provided as a meagre source of ‘enrichment’ — were caked in such a thick layer of faeces that they were virtually unusable. Even at this early stage, the investigation found one bird lying dead at the bottom of a cage, suggesting that problems were already beginning to manifest.

Although no reason is provided for the application being withdrawn, Animal Aid is confident that its investigation was a decisive factor. As well as the investigation, more than 2,788 people have submitted objections to the plans via the Animal Aid website, and a community group has run a highly effective campaign against the plans.

Says Animal Aid campaign manager Isobel Hutchinson:

‘We are greatly encouraged that the application has been withdrawn, and would like to thank everyone who took action to oppose this cruel new egg farm. We shall, however, be keeping a close eye on the situation, as we are aware that the company could still submit a new application. If this should happen, we will be ready to take action, and know we can count on strong support from members of the public.’

Editors’ notes

Order a FREE Go Vegan pack

Read more posts...

We’ve won the Lush prize!

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that Animal Aid has been awarded the Public Awareness Lush Prize 2024 for our campaign to end lethal dose animal tests! We really could not be happier – this is...

Posted 21 May 2024

Animal Aid director Iain Green and Head of Campaigns Jessamy Korotoga holding a Lush prize statuette of a hare

Live Exports Ban: Does it go far enough?

Yesterday, we shared the news that the Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill has passed its final stage in Parliament and will soon be enshrined into law. But does it go far enough?

Posted 15 May 2024