Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's supplier loses license as inhumane footage of rotting corpses emerges

29 January 2020, 13:57 | Updated: 29 January 2020, 15:19

The supplier for the main supermarkets has had its license taken off them
The supplier for the main supermarkets has had its license taken off them. Picture: Getty
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

The apparently 'free range' farm provided the huge supermarkets with eggs, but were recently busted for their filthy conditions.

Supermarket giants Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda have stopped selling free-range eggs from an UK farm after it's been uncovered that the business treated its brood of hens illegally.

The farm has been suspended by the RSPCA and had its license revoked after an animal rights group stormed the site, discovering the horrors within their giant poultry sheds.

Hoades Farm, near Hastings in East Sussex has since faced visits from investigators after the horrific pictures were distributed along with video footage of how the chickens were treated.

What they found was no joke, with decomposing animal corpses, bleeding livestock and disgustingly filthy conditions for the chickens to live in.

Pictures of an egg packing machine were shared which showed piles of smashed eggs surrounding it, which the livestock were attempting to eat.

Hoades Farm's own website stated: "Today, we remain relatively unique in that we have never compromised our values, having only ever sold genuine free range eggs.

"It is these values for animal welfare, high quality standards and sustainability that underpin how the business is run to this day."

Hoads eggs has been pulled from the stores
Hoads eggs has been pulled from the stores. Picture: Tesco

The major supermarkets have been selling eggs from this farm for a while, with a dozen free-range eggs retailing for around £2.

Free-Range has varying meanings depending on the legislation it follows, but generally they're known as "happy eggs", where the stock is treated well.

This couldn't be further from what Direct Action Everywhere's activists found at the farm, and the supermarkets are currently waiting for the investigation by the RSPCA's outcome before deciding whether to permanently withdraw Hoades Farm eggs from sale.

Describing their visit to the farm, a DxE spokesman said: "One night we found a hen huddled in the corner, motionless and shaking.

"She had blood all over her head.

"She was in clear pain and shock and hadn't received any medical attention.

"We found piles of dead birds in the walkways among living hens."

They also claimed to have seen "hens with bleeding cloacae" that were "visibly infected".

The Hoads Farm website states the following
The Hoads Farm website states the following. Picture: Hoads Farm

In a statement to MailOnline, Hoads Farm said: "We are both shocked and saddened at the recent imagery linked to Hoads Farm and have launched a full investigation into all the allegations. 

"The imagery is by no means reflective of the hygiene and welfare standards on any of our farms, in which we are held in high regard.

"We question both the validity and integrity of the images portrayed."

"We have had a fully qualified poultry vet visit the site yesterday and raise no concerns, apart from the consequences of the protesters actions. 

"We have also requested an audit from the RSPCA Freedom Foods, which has now been completed and stated "the birds are in good health, with good feather cover"."