If you’ve ordered an Egg McMuffin lately from McDonald’s, there’s a good chance it was made by abusing animals. An undercover video shot by animal rights group, Mercy for Animals, showed how Sparboe Farms, the fast-food’s egg supplier, was caught in several instances of cruelty, such as a worker swinging a bird around by its feet, hens packed into cramped cages, male chicks being tossed into plastic bags to suffocate and workers cutting off the tips of chicks’ beaks.
The good new is, McDonald’s has dropped Sparboe Farms as a supplier after viewing the video and said it was unclear when, or if, the company would work with them. But still, this isn’t the first time they have been accused of using suppliers who abuse their animals.
Bob Langert, McDonald’s vice president for sustainability, said in a statement:
The behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald’s wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers.
Sparboe Farms, which produces 2 million eggs a day, also found itself in more trouble last week after receiving a letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration saying inspectors found “serious violations” at five of their facilities of federal regulations meant to prevent salmonella. Apparently, the eggs from those facilities had “been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health.”
Not surprisingly, Sparboe Farms said they are “shocked and deeply disturbed” and have since fired the workers accused of abusing their animals. Even so, Mercy for Animals isn’t satisfied with that or with McDonald’s decision to stop accepting eggs from them.
Matt Rice, the director of operations for Mercy for Animals said:
There’s a culture of cruelty and neglect at McDonald and its suppliers. McDonald’s is simply sidestepping the issue now. It’s time McDonald’s requires all of its suppliers to un-cage hens and finally give these animals the basic freedom to spread their wings, to walk and engage in other natural behaviors.
By the way, McDonald’s has already switched to cage-free eggs in Europe.
At least they are taking steps in the right direction for their Egg McMuffin (and other egg dishes). That’s more than we can say for their McRib sandwich which recently brought allegations from the Humane Society against their pork supplier who was said to be raising pigs in inhumane conditions.