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Compassion Over Killing
P.O. Box 9773
Washington, DC 20016


Expert Veterinary Statement from Dr. Suzanne Cliver, DVM

June 4, 2001

To whom it may concern:

As a 1978 graduate of Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine and owner of a veterinary practice in Virginia, I reviewed a videotape provided by Compassion Over Killing of hens kept in a particular battery cage egg facility.

The facility, evidenced by the rusty, bent, and broken cages, was extremely sub-standard. There is inherent cruelty in any battery cage facility due to overcrowding of hens, however, this facility appeared to be one of unusually squalid conditions.

There were at least eight hens to a very small cage with broken, bent, and twisted wires. The hens were dull, lifeless, and many appeared near death. Their wings, feet, and beaks were often trapped in the wires, allowing them to die in positions of extreme pain.

1)Many had bald areas, exposed skin, injured eyes, and deformed beaks from apparent improper Debeaking. There were corpses among the living hens that seemed to be rotting. There were hens covered with feces, undoubtedly due to the overcrowding and deplorable cage conditions.

2)Battery cage egg facilities never provide hens with a humane existence. They are designed so that the hens are overcrowded and unable to make normal postural and positional changes. In addition, the wire flooring is very painful for their feet. It is essentially a prison-like situation for their entire lives.

The facility in this videotape represents caging hens in inconceivably cruel conditions. The hens are in a situation of dire neglect, and most appear to be in such poor health that their egg-laying ability must be poor or non-existent. It is as if these hens had been left to die unattended. Their deprivation and suffering is without question.

Expert Veterinary Statement from Dr. Eric Dunayer, VMD

May 23, 2001

To Whom It May Concern:

A 1988 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, I currently work as an emergency veterinarian in Hyattstown, Maryland. I have viewed a videotape provided by Compassion Over Killing that clearly shows hens kept in extremely cruel conditions at a battery-cage egg facility.

Each cage at the facility appears to contain at least eight hens. The hens are severely overcrowded—so crowded that the wire floors of their cages are barely visible and the hens cannot move to another part of the cage without climbing over one another. The wire of the cages is caked with feathers and feces.

Probably due to abrasion against the wire of their cages, most of the hens have suffered severe feather damage. Most are missing wing and tail feathers. Many have patches of bare skin, where their body feathers have been worn away. Several are suffering from eye injuries, including swollen or missing eyes.

The videotape shows two dead hens whose head and neck are stuck in the wire of their cages. Four hens who are still alive are also caught in the wire: one is caught by one of her wings, another by both of her legs, and two others by their head and neck.

The conditions revealed by the videotape impose extreme physical and psychological deprivation. Prevented from engaging in normal chicken activities such as dustbathing, foraging, and sunbathing, the hens appear listless and dazed; many barely react even when a camera's bright light shines on them.

In sum, the Compassion Over Killing videotape that I have viewed shows hens subjected to extremely inhumane conditions that inflict severe deprivation and injury. I have no doubt that these hens suffer terribly under such conditions. Keeping hens in battery cages is unquestionably cruel.


Eric Dunayer, VMD

Exam Report from Dr. Eric Dunayer, VMD

May 25, 2001

To whom it may concern:

A 1988 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, I currently work as an emergency veterinarian in Hyattstown, Maryland.

On May 23, 2001, I examined eight hens (Harriet, Jane, Petra, Jackie, Christina, Rose, Lynn, and Eve) for Compassion Over Killing. I have summarized my findings below.

General Comments: All eight birds were thin. The feathers of their wings and tails were extremely damaged. They had major loss of feathers over the body so that their skin was exposed. Some had abrasions to the skin especially along the underside of the chest. Their combs were pale, swollen, and flopped to one side.

Comments about individual birds follow:

Harriet: She was extremely lethargic, sitting with her head down and immobile. Her comb was cold and the tips were necrotic (dead). Her left eye was surround by a raised, firm swelling which could be scar tissue, an infection (abscess), or tumor. When she walked, her gait was unsteady. Her breathing was loud and labored with an increased inspiratory effort. She may have been suffering from pneumonia, possibly due to Asperigillosis—a fungal infection that can affect the lungs, brain, and eyes.

Jane: Her right wing was droopy and she seemed unable to lift it probably indicating nerve damage. There was a wound on the wing (in an area roughly equivalent to the human wrist) and a fracture could be felt underneath. She was underweight and, like most of the birds, was missing most of the feathers on her body.

Petra: The tips of her comb were necrotic; she had severe feather loss.

Jackie: She had a prolasping cloacae (protruding rectal tissue); an egg is present in the cloacae. She may be having difficulty passing the egg.

Christina: She has a fluid-filled cyst over the right eye which is flopping against her eye.

Rose: She has minor abrasions on her comb.

Lynn and Eve: see under general comments.

In general, the condition of these chickens was very poor.


Eric Dunayer, VMD

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