Press release from the "Bye Bye Egg Industry Support Group":

HATCHERY RENDERED HARMLESS - BROODING MACHINES (SETTERS) DESTROYED

In the early hours of Sunday the 27th of April, a hatchery in the South of Sweden was rendered harmless. Brooding machines (setters) and other equipment used for nursing eggs, bred to produce battery hens, were put out of order. This is the most forceful action taken so far to put an end to the ongoing misery of caged battery hens - and other hens as well - in Sweden. The animal rights group "Bye Bye Egg Industry" consisting of, Daniel Hedqvist, Hanna Ekegren and Johan Jaatinen, takes full responsibility. This was an act of civil disobedience, done openly, with the purpose of preventing thousands of hens to be born to a life full of agony.

The hatchery Gimranäs Inc, in the outskirts of Herrljunga in the West of Sweden, breed about 90% of chickens that are used in egg production in Sweden. It is estimated to be the 11th biggest hatchery in the world. Daniel Hedqvist and Hanna Ekegren entered one part of the complex in the town Hudene, and at the same time, Johan Jaatinen broke in to another part in the town Fåglavik. In the buildings they started destroying machines and
equipment used for hatching and brooding millions of eggs each year.

The activists left a letter to the workers, explaining why they felt
obliged to take action and that they doing so were not to be taken personal but to be seen as an attack of the egg industry as a whole. To emphasize this, the group left coffee and a vegan cake (dairy and egg free) together with the letter, at both of the factories.

As a direct result of the action, 42 000 eggs just a few days old were cooled down, which means that over 20 000 hens were never born to a life of suffering. Since no alarm was triggered in the smaller factory in Fåglavik,

all the machines there were destroyed completely and resulted in a shutdown for several weeks, according to the owner of Gimranäs Inc.

- Our action prevented thousands of hens to be born into a life of misery. A life there they would only be seen as egg-machines to profit from, not the individuals they really are, says Hanna Ekegren, jack-of-all-trades.

- The bred hens of today grow twenty times faster than what would have been natural. Obviously this affects their health in a negative way. They suffer from increased risk of disease, foot and claw damage and bone weakness, just to name a few, Daniel Hedqvist, biology student of Stockholm University pronounces.

Ekegren and Hedqvist were arrested at the hatchery as the burglary alarm went off. Jaatinen was not discovered during the night but was taken to the police station the following morning when he was leafleting about the action in Gothenburg city center. The group spent two days in isolation cells at the police station but was later set free as the prosecutor did not find enough reason for them to remand in custody. The loss of machinery and eggs is estimated to about SEK 2 000 000 (US$ 240 000). A date for the trial will be set in a few months. They risk at most four years in prison, but a more likely sentence is a few months in prison plus becoming liable to pay the damages.

More info: http://www.byebyeegg.com (Swedish only at the moment. Images of the group members are available, images from the action will be up soon.)

Contact: [email protected]

Images of the machines can be viewed at http://www.chickmaster.com