ACTION ANIMAL RESCUE TEAM UPDATE (February 27, 2000)
Three rescues/surveillances have been carried out in the last 10
days. We are determined to get as much up-to-date information
regarding the hideous living conditions for battery hens prior to the
Australian National Meeting of Agriculture Ministers to be held in
Melbourne on March 3. (the possible banning of the battery cage is
on the agenda). Patty Mark has a personal meeting with the Victorian
Minister for Agriculture, Keith Hamilton, on March 1. She has told
the minister to have a VCR ready as she will be showing him footage
taken by Diana Simpson INSIDE the battery hen hellholes.
From: Patty Mark
LATEST RESCUE: Friday, February 25, 2000 at NATURES DOZEN in Wallen,
Victoria. (located approx 45 minutes north of Melbourne.)
Following an inside tip-off the team found appalling conditions and
consistent overstocking throughout the two sheds they accessed. The
first shed had hens stacked six tiers high over an enormous manure
pit that was littered with dead and dying hens. We witnessed at least
30 live hens in the manure pit which was infested with some type of
insect swarming like maggots throughout the manure. Feral cats were
filmed in the shed. We were able to rescue two hens from the manure
pit, one too weak to stand (later euthansed by a vet), the other
(pictured below) was heavily bound by blue plastic twine embedded in
her claws. Each claw had gathered a manure ball the size of tennis
balls which were rock hard. (the gross manure-ball weight on this
birds leg was 500 grams - approximately a third of her body weight!)
(for those unaware, when hens are trapped in manure pits they often
get these manure balls on their claws and they must be soaked for up
to an hour and chisseled off).
Upstairs we found that more than half of the cages we inspected were
overstocked (by Victorian Law) and in one aisle alone we removed 7
rotting corpses, one coming out in five pieces, they had been there
for weeks. The smell was overpowering, we often had to leave an aisle
to regain our composure from the intense odor. All five members of
the team felt quozzy from the smell and atmosphere. Five hens in all
were rescued, including debilitated, blind and anemic birds. The
majority of hens in the shed were severely debeaked.
An immediate appeal was put to the RSPCA to inspect and prosecute
this property which is so blatantly breaking the law. Richard
Hunter, RSPCA CEO has assured me it will be done asap. We are
awaiting the results.
(Note: re previous update - A Current Affair have informed us the
story of our rescue at Happy Hens (Feb 16) will be aired nationally
next Wednesday or Thursday.)
NOW - Introducing VERONICA |
(rescued from the manure pits of Nature's
Patrick rescues hen found dehydrated and covered in shit
unable to move fast as there are huge manure balls on her claws.
John the Vet expresses his sheer disgust at the birds
Veronica must sit in a warm bath for an hour and
then have the manure balls chisseled and cut off, it is very stressful
and she nearly collapsed from stress. One claw is left hanging on by a
thread, she will loose it.
Veronica has survived her ordeal and
is sunbaking the next day, but still holding the leg up in pain. Her
prognosis is guarded.
(Photos: Patty Mark)
For more information |
Patty Mark at