Sparboe responds to undercover video

The president and owner of Sparboe Farms has responded to accusations of animal cruelty at its egg-laying facilities in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado.

In a letter posted on a company website, Sparboe Companies president and owner Beth Sparboe Schnell said she was “deeply saddened to see the story because this isn’t who Sparboe Farms is”.  And she added “Acts depicted in the footage are totally unacceptable and completely at odds with our values as egg farmers.”

The accusations resulted from an undercover video filmed by an activist group, which became the basis for an investigative report by ABC News that aired on Friday.  The video showed what the group said were several instances of animal cruelty.

The video’s release, combined with a food safety warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has prompted McDonald’s and Target to announce that they have dropped Sparboe as an egg supplier.

Schnell said the acts depicted were a violation of the company’s own animal care code of conduct, which all Sparboe Farms employees read, sign and followed each day.  She said the company has fired four employees who “complicit in this disturbing activity” and management changes also have taken place.

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