Write and call Governor Strickland to urge him to try to keep the Hi-Q factory egg farm out of central Ohio! Tell him you will hold him personally responsible - (614)466-3555. Please use this letter as an example:

The Honorable Ted Strickland
Governor’s Office
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

May 6, 2008

Dear Governor Ted Strickland,

I write on behalf of the over 16,000 members and supporters of Mercy For Animals, an Ohio-based animal protection organization, to ask you to ban the construction of fac- tory farms in the great state of Ohio.
As more people experience the negative effects of factory farms—including land, water and air degradation; decreased property values; the emergence of antibiotic-resistant, more virulent diseases; and the intolerable cruelty inflicted on animals—it is becoming clear that we, as a state, must phase out factory farms. Animal factory farms harm the public and violate the values and ideals of Ohioans.
Mercy For Animals recently released a new, hidden-camera investigation at a battery cage egg facility, where our undercover investigator documented gross neglect and shocking acts of cruelty and abuse, including the following:

• Workers using brutal killing methods, such as standing on birds, kicking birds into manure pits to drown in excrement, twisting their necks and hurling them against shed walls

• Hens living in barren, file drawer-sized battery cages, 5 to 7 birds per cage, too cramped to spread even one wing

• Workers violently shoving birds through the small entryways of battery cages with no regard for breaking the birds’ bones in the process

• Birds with feces-caked feathers living in their own excrement and the spillover excrement from the birds in the cages above them

• Hens living on top of the rotting corpses of dead cage-mates

• Badly decomposed bodies in the egg receptacles, alongside eggs to be sold for human consumption

• Crippled and sick hens left to languish in shed aisles without medical care or ac- cess to food or water

• Hens with untreated facial lesions, broken wings and legs, prolapsed uteruses, infections and abscesses

Please visit www.mercyforanimals.org/caeggs to see the undercover video and pho- tographic evidence we obtained, as well as expert testimony from veterinarians, who confirmed that the hens were undoubtedly suffering, and in great pain. Although this investigation was conducted at Gemperle Enterprises in Turlock and Hilmar California, the abuses uncovered are consistent with the routine cruelty, neglect and abuse Mercy For Animals documented at the following four battery cage egg farms in Ohio: Buckeye Egg Farm in LaRue; Ohio Fresh Eggs in Croton, Daylay Egg Farm in Raymond and the Weaver Brothers Egg Farm in Versailles. At these facilities MFA investigators witnessed diseased and injured animals left to languish with untreated injuries, painfully debeaked hens crammed into cages so tightly they could not turn around or stretch their wings, and dead, decomposing hens in cages with live hens still laying eggs for human consumption. The consistency of the abuses documented during these investigations strongly suggests that battery cage egg farming is inherently cruel, and that the abuses documented at Gemperle Enterprises are the industry norm, not the exception.
The cruelty that hens suffer on battery cage egg farms affronts Ohioans’ values regard- ing how animals should be treated. A 2004 Ohio State University survey found that 92% of Ohioans agree or strongly agree with the statement, “It is important to me that animals on farms are well-cared for.” The same survey also found that 81% of Ohio- ans agree that, “The well-being of farm animals is just as important as the well-being of pets.”
Across the nation we see similar concern for the humane treatment of farmed animals, which explains the recent wave of legislation in the U.S. banning cruel farming prac- tices. In 2002, a ballot initiative allowed Florida voters to pass the first law prohibiting the confinement of pigs in gestation crates – two feet-wide metal crates that prevent the animals from taking a step, stretching, or turning around. In 2006, Arizonians over- whelmingly voted to outlaw both gestation crates and veal crates. In 2007, Oregon state legislators passed a bill outlawing gestation crates. This year, Colorado banned gesta- tion crates and veal crates. In November, California voters will have the opportunity to outlaw confinement systems that prevent animals from moving freely. We are confident that this legislation will pass, effectively banning battery cages, veal crates, and gesta- tion crates.
Many agribusiness companies see the writing on the wall, and are phasing out cruel ani- mal confinement systems. In January 2007, Smithfield, the U.S.’s largest pork producer, announced that it will phase out the use of gestation crates in its operations over the next decade. Around the same time, Strauss Veal, the leading U.S. veal producer, and Marcho Farms both pledged to end their use of veal crates within the next three years. Not only are factory farms repositories for unconscionable animal cruelty and neglect, they threaten human health, the environment and local economies. The Pew Charitable Trust recently released a report on industrial animal farm production (IFAP) – the prod-
uct of a landmark two-year study conducted by a prestigious panel of experts. The panel was chaired by former Kansas Governor, John Carlin, and included former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman, as well as farmers, scientists, veterinar- ians, and public officials.
The panel concluded that animal factory farms pose unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and animal welfare, noting in its report that factory farms contribute to the development of more virulent strains of human diseases; generate significant greenhouse gases; pollute air, land, and water; and siphon investment and wealth away from the local communities in which they operate.
“The goal of this Commission is to sound the alarm that significant change is urgent- ly needed in industrial farm animal production,” says John Carlin. “I believe that the IFAP system was first developed simply to help increase farmer productivity and that the negative effects were never intended. Regardless, the consequences are real and serious and must be addressed.”
One of the Commission’s key recommendations is to “phase out the most intensive and inhumane production practices within a decade to reduce the risk of IFAP to public health and improve animal wellbeing.”
A good first step toward such a phase-out would be for Ohio to institute a ban on the construction of any new factory farms in the state; including any farm that would employ the use of battery cages, gestation crates, or veal crates.
Given growing consumer and legislative concern for the welfare of farmed animals, and the farm industry’s trend away from cruel confinement systems, a ban on the construction of new factory farms in Ohio makes sound economic and humane sense. Constructing new factory farms would be a waste of investors’ financial re- sources when these confinement systems’ obsolescence is on the horizon.
Among the first construction permits, which should be urgently denied, is the one requested by Hi-Q Egg Products to build a 6 million-chicken battery cage facility at 22450 Davis Rd. in West Mansfield. Local residents, including farmers, are protest- ing the establishment of this facility out of concerns that it will negatively impact their health, ground water, streams, air, soil, roads and property values.
On behalf of MFA’s constituents and all Ohioans, I urge you to strengthen local economies and create a cleaner, healthier and more humane Ohio by enacting a permanent ban on the construction of new factory farms in our great state.
Thank you for your time, attention and consideration. Please feel free to contact me at 614-256-7959 or FreemanW@MercyForAnimals.org with any questions that you might have. I am at your disposal and would be happy to discuss this with you further.


Freeman Wicklund
Director of Campaigns
Mercy For Animals