anonymous communique received by activists in New Zealand:

Click here for photos from the rescue.

"Tonight we broke into the Somerdale Polutry Lodge with the aim of liberating hens from this hell hole. While inside we also documented the disgusting and inhumane conditions which these birds are made to endure. We were sickened and overwhelmed by the smell that came from within the shed. Once inside we found that this smell was coming from dead birds piled around the shed and the piles of excrement from the thousands of birds caged inside the shed.

Inside the shed we found over 4 chickens in each cage in a near pitch black environment. The feet of these birds were growing through the bottom of the cages causing untold misery during the short lives of these birds. Grown solely for profit these birds will have no opportunity to experience a natural life and will know only these filthy cages. The wings of many of the birds in the shed were severely damaged with open wounds and damaged wings. While we were there we saw and heard many rats which were most likely responsible for the birds' injuries.

The records displayed on the wall indicated that dozens of animals a day are dying due to the appalling treatment of the birds inside this factory farm. This rigorously documented animal cruelty shows the government and public disregard for the lives of these birds.

We had been informed by a worker in 2004 that this farm was going to close down and were shocked to find that two years later the farm, in an even worse condition, was still operating.

While animals are kept in conditions like these for the production of eggs we will continue to liberate animals and expose the sickening cruelty behind your meal."

Media coverage:
Chicken farm conditions "shocking"
More raids on battery hen farms likely