STARVING HENS CAUSES SALMONELLA
THE EGG INDUSTRY MUST STOP
THIS SICKENING PRACTICE
MACHIPONGO, VA - While six million caged hens sit starving in
their ammonia-reeking, Salmonella-infested sheds, the U.S. egg
industry is touting a new "conceptual framework" to deal with
Salmonella in eggs, and the federal government is proposing to
standardize egg production and put warning labels on egg cartons.
Meanwhile, a leading cause of Salmonella enteritidis in hens,
eggs, and consumers of eggs is being ignored by an industry that
has known about this cause for years and done nothing about it:
FORCED MOLTING is the totally unhealthful economic practice of
depriving hens of ALL FOOD for as long as FOURTEEN DAYS STRAIGHT
(an average length of Ten Full Days). This cruel practice is so
stressful it breaks down the hens' immune systems, causing them
to be invaded by harmful Salmonella bacteria. According to Egg
Industry, June 1999: "Reduced feed and water intake is the most
detrimental and universal aspect of disease" in laying hens. The
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service stated in a
1994 report, "The stress resulting from an induced [i.e. a
forced] molt significantly depresses the cellular immune response
in laying hens and will increase the severity of a concurrent
intestinal SE [Salmonella Enteritidis] infection."
World Poultry, vol 12, no. 6 (1996) states that "While unmolted
hens usually have to ingest about 50,000 Salmonella cells to
become infected, molted hens need fewer than ten."
USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Service wrote to United Poultry
Concerns on August 21, 1998: "FSIS recognizes that public health
concerns are raised by highly stressful forced molting practices.
For example, extended starvation and water deprivation practices
lead to increased shedding of Salmonella enteritidis (Se) by
laying hens subjected to these practices."
In 1998, United Poultry Concerns filed a petition--Docket No.
98P-0203/CP--with the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit
forced molting based on the clear evidence that this inhumane
practice is a major cause of Salmonella-infested hens and eggs.
"Any policy designed to protect public health will have to
include banning the practice of starving the birds," states UPC
president Karen Davis. "It's time for our government to take
United Poultry Concerns. September 27, 1999
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150