Kroger severs ties with Prosper egg supplier after hens die in heat
An egg supplier based in Prosper is under investigation following an expose by People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and as a result, the Kroger supermarket chain is suspending ties with the company, according to a release from PETA.
PETA released video footage of an Oklahoma farm operated by Prosper-based Mahard Egg Farm that showed hens beaten to death and hens that had died of heatstroke. Dead hens were left to rot alongside survivors inside cages, while live birds were left in manure pits amid corpses and piles of waste up to 5 feet high.
After PETA submitted its evidence to local authorities, the sheriff's office in Murray County, Oklahoma, opened a criminal investigation into Mahard.
The facility keeps up to 1.2 million hens in 11 massive sheds and supplies eggs to The Kroger Co., which operates more stores than any other U.S. grocer. PETA's investigation follows a whistleblower's report to the group that hens "looked like they were rotting alive" there.
PETA VP Daphna Nachminovitch said in a statement that the "nightmarish" footage showed workers beating chickens' heads against metal bars and sick, neglected hens living in squalor among decaying corpses.
Nearly 8,000 hens died when temperatures in the farm's sheds reached 106 degrees.
In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration issued Mahard a warning over "serious violations" of salmonella-prevention regulations related to fly and rodent control.