Hens burned alive

Fire at intensive egg farm kills tens of thousands of birds

On the night of November 9, 2021, Farm Transparency Project received a tipoff about a shed that had caught fire at an intensive egg farm in Carisbrook, Victoria, earlier that day. The farm, owned by Kinross, produces "cage-free", "barn-laid" eggs in an "aviary" system, with up to 45,000 hens in each shed. Our investigators went to document the aftermath and check for survivors.

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The eggs from this facility are marketed as "cage-free", but the reality is that each aisle of this massive shed functions as one large cage. These birds were trapped with nowhere to go.

Our investigators were equipped to rescue any survivors they might have come across, but there were none. Every single one of the hens here, around 45,000, were horrifically burned alive. Their sheer terror and pain as the fire ripped through the shed is unimaginable.

It seems like every other month, we’re hearing about an intensive chicken or pig farm catching fire, or temperature units failing and animals dying from heat stress. Every single time, the animals - the true victims - barely get a mention, if at all. They are a distant second thought to the economic loss. This time, we wanted it to be different. We wanted people to see these very real consequences, to spare a thought for what these animals endured. To question why nobody bothered to open a door so that they had somewhere to go... and to realise the answer, that this industry cares about nothing but their profits. The excruciating deaths of these animals are brushed off as ‘stock loss’, as though they’re units in a warehouse.

It’s inconceivable that someone can cram tens of thousands of animals into a shed and there’s no legal requirement for them to even have a sprinkler system or any kind of plan for these kinds of events. This is just yet another disgusting indictment of Australia's animal agriculture industry.

Initially, the owner claimed there were 24,000 hens killed in the fire. He later admitted there were 45,312.

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Most of us see ourselves as animal lovers; yet our actions may be contributing to the abuse and violent slaughter of individuals who live, breathe and feel just as much as our dogs and cats. 

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