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Pace battery-hen farm in Canberra damaged

By leonoosthuizen - 13 March 2012 64

Parkwood Egg Farm, located in Macgregor ACT and owned by Pace, is the ACT’s only factory farm, housing between 100000 and 200000 layer hens in small cages. Last night, Parkwood was infiltrated. Various items of equipment along the automated grading and packing production line were damaged or destroyed in an attempt to cause economic harm to those who profit from torture and murder. No equipment relating to the welfare of the hens was touched; they will continue to receive food and water.

While there are many such facilities across Australia, this Canberra farm was chosen for two primary reasons:
1. Its significance as the only factory farm in the seat of Australia’s parliament.
2. Its history as the target of multiple campaigns by a number of different organisations over a span of twenty years, and its consequent infamy across the nation; these campaigns, despite garnering intense public outrage towards the facility, have failed to shut it down.

A large quantity of free-range packaging was found at the facility, with brands including Pace, Coles, and Woolworths Select. It is therefore believed, though not confirmed, that Parkwood’s battery cage eggs are also packaged and distributed as free-range. The hens at Parkwood are currently being emptied from their cages one shed at a time and sent to slaughter, as they have reached 18 months of age and are no longer producing at peak capacity. It is recommended that Pace uses this opportunity to close down the facility and leave our nation’s capital. Already three sheds have been emptied, with only two remaining.

It is time to question the validity of the Australian identity. What values do we consider virtues? The icon of the Aussie battler – the family-oriented farmer slaving in tough times for the good of the country – is outdated and does not reflect the heavily industrialised nature of modern livestock farming. Nor does it reflect the severe environmental damage caused by such practices.

We need to ask ourselves, do we take pride in the shadowy men who hide behind piles of blood money – the Frank Paces, the Bob Inghams, the John and Simon Camilleris – or do we take pride in those who fight for the oppressed; those who don?t live by the legal law of the day but instead by a universal moral law, acting out of compassion and for a justice that discriminates not against race, gender, age or species; the voices for all who cannot speak for themselves yet scream unheard behind the closed doors of our nation?s factory farms? A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies, and to say of a system predicated upon hate and violence: This is not just.

Consumers must be made aware of the truth behind the meat, dairy and egg industries. Our politicians have the power to make such information widely available, but choose not to because of the industries’ economic value, even if it means more Australians dying of preventable diseases and disorders, more unnecessary soil degradation, water scarcity, and greenhouse gas emissions, and the slaughter of millions more animals every year.

The industries and their employees, on the other hand, must be made aware that they are in danger of being exposed; that their participation in these violent atrocities will no longer be tolerated, and that the secrecy of their actions can no longer be guaranteed.

Members of the public, and of the parliament, must no longer be afraid to stand up and make their voices heard; never through violence but through the affirmation and embodiment of social and ethical responsibility.

Sincerely,
The Blackbird.

[ED – We’ve requested comment from Pace eggs and will publish any we receive.]

UPDATE 13/03/12 14:30: The Australian Egg Corporation’s response is now available.

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64 Responses to
Pace battery-hen farm in Canberra damaged
Chop71 11:15 am 13 Mar 12

What a load of crap

MissJustice 11:11 am 13 Mar 12

Battery cages are an abomination. These gentle innocent girls live a life of torture, torment & misery. The egg industry is shameful. Not only do they imprison the females (after removing their beaks in an extremely painful procedure) they also have no use for the male chicks so they throw them away, simply throw them away to die an awful death.

What these activists have done is nothing short of amazing – stopping the money making egg producing machine in its tracks.

Battery cages are pure evil. Go Vegan!

EvanJames 11:07 am 13 Mar 12

Purple prose not withstanding, I support actions such as these. See the picture of the hen above? It has had its beak clipped off. They all undergo that. Does it hurt? hell, yes. And you’d have to be living under a rock to not know the conditions for battery caged hens, squashed into tiny cages, no room to move. Bloody disgusting.

And, if this raid does in fact reveal that battery farmed eggs are being sold as free range or barn laid, the balloon will go up BIG TIME and it needs to. People are cheerfully paying more, to signal their preference for cruelty-free food. I am always heartened when I can’t get at the non-cage eggs section at Coles in Queanbeyan, because there’s too many people in front of it, choosing their eggs. In Queanbeyan, for heavan’s sake!

So if our much-vaunted regulatory regimes are failing to prevent the public from being ripped off and lied-to, I think a lot of very ordinary, non-crazed-animal-lovers, will be absolutely disgusted. The RSPCA and Animals Australia run very good campaigns to enable ordinary people to signal their feelings about these things.

And with so many people opting for the more expensive cruelty-free eggs, doesn’t that signal that battery farming is perhaps not necessary and can be safely done-away with?

Watson 11:07 am 13 Mar 12

Couldn’t be bothered reading all of that. It’s pretty simple. Do your resesarch and then buy your eggs from a real free-range source. There’s no need to yell, money speaks louder than words.

I’ve known that free-range eggs from Pace aren’t really free-range for ages. There’s only one brand I buy because a reliable source told me that they are truly free-range.

Instead of breaking into chicken farms and jumping on the barricades, why don’t you just invest your time and money in a media campaign to educate people on which brands are and which aren’t free-range and then let them vote with their money.

p1 10:59 am 13 Mar 12

ecoterrorist said

Free-range eggs, for example, still require the males to be macerated (ground up alive) at birth….

Really? If I want to have chooks producing eggs in my backyard I have to grind up male chooks alive? I don’t have hens now, by never remember doing that in the past.

TheDancingDjinn 10:49 am 13 Mar 12

bugmenot said :

Why do they have Barn and Free Range Packaging on site?

Because they don’t just process eggs from those Barns, more often than not, it’s the semi trailer loads of eggs coming from all around NSW.

I worked in the grading area back in 2003, and the amount of eggs coming from those sheds was dwarfed by the amount that came from elsewhere.

I’d make sure you get your story straight before accusing them of deceiving their customers

I was going to add the same thing actually – this company does have property with livestock on it all around the outskirts of Canberra – they very well could have some free range chickens on those properties you know. While i don’t like cruelty to any creature, actually look into it a bit deeper before your inner hippy gets enraged… Also gives you no freeking right to break and enter and damage anything!! – that just dropped your cause a few hundred points in respect, as now your all just scummy crims.

Mysteryman 10:49 am 13 Mar 12

phototext said :

The above rhetoric reminds me of the bs holy war dribble al-Qaeda comes out with.

Try sounding like a normal person, not some self important nutjob, and you might have a chance of influencing the public.

Where does the Left find these numnuts.

+1.

leonoosthuizen – your BS rhetoric and criminal activities make me want to actively oppose your cause. I don’t care about your ideals or your opinion on matters of animal welfare or meat consumption, but when you act like this, thinking that you’re above the law, you lose any credibility you or your cause may have had, and you make enemies of people who probably would have supported your cause had you not acted like scumbags.

If you want to affect change you should do it legally. For now, I’m going to ramp up my meat and egg consumption. Partly to negate your individual efforts, and partly to help local famers pay for the unlawful damage to their property that you and your friends have caused.

bugmenot 10:37 am 13 Mar 12

Why do they have Barn and Free Range Packaging on site?

Because they don’t just process eggs from those Barns, more often than not, it’s the semi trailer loads of eggs coming from all around NSW.

I worked in the grading area back in 2003, and the amount of eggs coming from those sheds was dwarfed by the amount that came from elsewhere.

I’d make sure you get your story straight before accusing them of deceiving their customers

phototext 10:36 am 13 Mar 12

The above rhetoric reminds me of the bs holy war dribble al-Qaeda comes out with.

Try sounding like a normal person, not some self important nutjob, and you might have a chance of influencing the public.

Where does the Left find these numnuts.

arescarti42 10:33 am 13 Mar 12

qbngeek said :

There is not, and never will be, enough vegetable matter to sustain the worlds population.

This is simply false. Most animal livestock around the world is fed on grain that could otherwise be feeding humans (yes, this is not the case for cattle and sheep in Australia). It is massively less efficient to grow vegetable produce to feed animals, than it is to simply grow and eat the vegetable produce.

qbngeek said :

While I detest battery farming, or the factory-farming of any animal especially pigs and chickens for that matter, I sense you want us all to become vegans and try to live healthy lives on just vegetables.

I got that impression too, expecting people not to eat animals is an extremely unrealistic goal. I think we need to focus on improving animal welfare in the existing system.

RedDogInCan 10:22 am 13 Mar 12

schmeah said :

don’t be tempted to buy eggs at a supermarket.

The supermarkets are very sneaky in their marketing – it started a few month’s ago with just a small display, then gradually they increased their range and shelf space, soon we will be bombarded with catalogue advertising and huge displays of eggs placed right at the entrance and every checkout. Its so hard to resist the temptation of their chocolaty delight.

Jivrashia 10:19 am 13 Mar 12

Unless someone can explain satisfactorily why there are packaging labelled “free range” at a battery-hen farm I’ll be boycotting Pace eggs.

qbngeek 10:15 am 13 Mar 12

While I detest battery farming, or the factory-farming of any animal especially pigs and chickens for that matter, I sense you want us all to become vegans and try to live healthy lives on just vegetables. In this case I will put to you the same question I put to all vegans who preach at me ‘Where will all this magical plant life come from?’. There is not, and never will be, enough vegetable matter to sustain the worlds population.

Other than that good job. battery farming of chickens need to made illegal as it is nothing but cruelty to animals.

schmeah 10:02 am 13 Mar 12

While this article is does itself a great disservice by being so flamboyant and a bit holier-than-thou, I agree that those birds are treated atrociously. Know where your product comes from, or don’t eat it.

That said, the ACT is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the country on animal welfare, the fact that ‘free range packaging’ was found is worrying.

My advice, unless you own chickens or have contacts who do (and loads of people in Canberra do) .. don’t be tempted to buy eggs at a supermarket.

Holden Caulfield 9:51 am 13 Mar 12

A shame that a worthy cause will be lost in a wash of over emotional tripe…

“Members of the public, and of the parliament, must no longer be afraid to stand up and make their voices heard; never through violence but through the affirmation and embodiment of social and ethical responsibility.”

So we can assume that “embodiment of social and ethical responsibility” is a euphemism for breaking and entering, and willful damage?

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