New Zealand's Egg Producer Federation Says It Would Prefer Bare Facts to Activists' Bare Bodies

In response to a campaign by animal rights activists in which models stripped to oppose cage production of eggs, the executive director of the Egg Producers Federation said he would prefer to debate the “bare facts” rather than “bare bodies.”

Egg Producers Federation executive director Michael brooks said in a press release,

This sort of publicity-seeking [by models stripping] trivializes a very important issue.

Brooks went on to note that the production methods of eggs are dictated largely by the need to present consumers with low cost food. According to Brooks,

This is an issue of the right of consumers to choose what sort of product they wish to buy. At present, less than 6 percent of eggs purchased are free-range. Over 92 percent are from caged hens with the balance barn-raised. Eggs are a vital and low cost source of protein consumed particularly by low socio-economic groups who cannot necessarily afford the much greater costs of free range eggs.

The public may say that they disapprove of caging in a telephone survey, but every day at the super market they buy crate produced eggs.

It is also an issue of the right to farm and behind the industry are families, individuals and communities that rely on egg production for their livelihood.

If we are to take actions that ultimately destroy an industry, we need to have very good reasons. Most of the arguments put forward by animal welfare activists simply do not stand up to scientific analysis


The Egg Producers Federation notes, for example, that the activists are wrong when they claim that egg producers remove the beaks from hens. According to the Egg Producers Federation,

Birds’ beaks are not removed and never have been. In fact, less than 40 percent of caged hens have the tips of their beaks trimmed — a process undertaken as small chickens when the beak is soft and there is little or no pain. It is a humane practice designed to avoid feather pecking and cannibalism. . . . Beak trimming is also practiced on free range farms for the same reason.

Brooks sums up by saying,

The point is that these matters are not simple or black and white, as the activists lead us to believe. They are trying to turn this issue into one of heroes and villains which is totally inappropriate.

On the other hand if I were an animal rights activist deciding between resting on the strength of my argument or models stripping, I think I’d have to go with the stripping models too.


Bare facts rather than bare bodies. Press Release, Egg Producers Federation of New Zealand, September 20, 2004.

Animal Rights Extremism in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times recently reported on the extent of acts of extremism committed by animal rights activists in that country against scientists and farmers.

It’s a bit difficult to tell how pervasive acts of animal rights terrorism are in New Zealand as opposed to say Great Britain or the United States, but certainly New Zealand extremists seem to be keeping up with their peers in other parts of the world according to the Star Times,

Bomb threats have also been made by the groups, as has the delivery of a razor blade doused in “HIV” blood to a scientist.

The tactics have led to the hiring of security specialists and even bodyguards by universities that use animals for research, research institutes, and poultry and egg producers Tegel and Inghams.

The Star Times quotes an unnamed activist who the newspaper claims is involved with a group that illegally raided a poultry farm. The activist tells the paper that such acts are justified to end animal agriculture,

What they [farmers] are going through is nothing in comparison to what hundreds of thousands of chickens on their farm go through every year.

People who profit from farm animals don’t have any right to live their life in comfort.

As in other parts of the world, animal rights groups that don’t openly participate in such illegal acts nonetheless express sympathy and/or condone such acts anyway. Phil Clayton of the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society told the paper that although his group doesn’t participate in or encourage bombings or threats against researchers,

If they are done to a deserving target, and are an effective way of making a point, I can understand the motives behind the way they are done.

According to the Star Times, “He [Clayton] said his organization would use the result of illegal actions to its advantage . . .”

Finally, Bruce Scott of poultry firm Tegel provided an excellent answer to the Star Times’ question about whether or not his firm and others should engage in public dialogues with animal rights groups. His response,

You’re dealing with an amorphous group of people who have no aim in life other than to attack anybody profiting from animals. Their cause is — don’t eat meat, don’t eat cheese, don’t eat fish. It’s a totally pointless discussion.


Animal rights activists step up terror campaign. Sunday Star Times (New Zealand), May 2, 2004.