Last week, The Humane Society of the United States went viral with a video alleging cruelty and abuse of laying hens at Kreider Farms. They claimed it was the result of February and March undercover investigations filmed at Kreider Farms, which is headquartered at Manheim, Pa.
Coincidentally, it appeared on HSUS's fund-raising website. Not so coincidentally, the video and HSUS campaign hit major news media as the U.S. Congress nears deliberation of H.R. 3798, which would mandate new housing systems for hens over the next 15 to 18 years, providing them far more space and ensuring that cages contain environmental enrichments such as perches and nesting areas. An HSUS representative appearing in the video said that the Society hopes the video will help convince people to speak out in support of the legislation.
Foul play suspected
The day these allegations broke, Kreider Farms welcomed television cameras inside the chicken houses. Viewers observed that conditions in our facilities bear no resemblance to the HSUS video.
Within three days, inspections by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine found "zero evidence of any animal abuse or food safety concern," says Ron Kreider, CEO of Kreider Farms.
"These results confirm what we've maintained since the beginning: The allegations by HSUS are unfounded – completely untrue. Our chicken houses are and have been professionally managed at the highest levels, and our birds are well-cared for, healthy and active. HSUS's video demonstrates no connection to Kreider Farms – it could have been taped at any chicken house."
Contrary to HSUS claims, Kreider says their farm "fully supports such legislation. More than 80% of our birds are already housed in state-of-the-art facilities – we would have the least to do to comply. The allegations by HSUS are a gross distortion of Kreider Farms, our employees and the way we care for our birds," adds Kreider.Pennsylvania Ag Secretary George Greig released the following statement: "The state veterinarian visited and inspected the Kreider Farms' Manheim facility on two occasions over the past three days. All practices, procedures and conditions that our veterinarian observed were consistent with industry best practices. Kreider Farms has passed every state inspection over the past five years, showing high and consistent standards of flock health management, above PEQAP standards."