Investigation by Lever Foundation, a non-profit animal protection organisation working to protect farm animals in Asia: Tesco’s eggs reveals disgusting filth, animal cruelty and discrimination against Malaysian customers.
Shocking video footage shows filth, food safety risks and animal cruelty at the company that supplies eggs to leading retailer Tesco. The footage shows:
- Cages and equipment covered in animal feces, posing serious food safety risks
- The bodies of dead hens left to rot in cages alongside hens still laying eggs for human consumption
- Seriously abused animals with skin scraped raw from constant rubbing against cage bars
- Baby birds crammed for their entire lives in cages so small they are illegal in dozens of countries
The investigation was filmed last month by workers and students at farms operated by Teo Seng Capital Berhad, the company that produces Tesco-brand eggs in Malaysia.
“At farms of this Tesco egg supplier, dead hens are left to rot in cages alongside live hens, feces covers the cages and equipment, and mother hens spend their entire lives crammed in cages so small they can barely turn around,” said Katherine Ma, Program Manager of the non-governmental organization Lever Foundation, which released the investigation. “It’s a disgrace that Tesco, a British company, is serving Malaysian customers eggs from “battery cage” egg systems—systems so cruel and unsafe they have been banned in Britain and dozens of other countries.”
The European Food Safety Authority has found caged egg farms have up to a 25 times greater risk of salmonella contamination compared to “cage-free” egg farms, due to the overpacked conditions and concentration of animal waste. Leading national and global animal protection organizations, including the SPCA Selangor, also condemn battery cages for the intense suffering they cause animals, and encourage companies to use only cage-free eggs.
Christine Chin, Chairman of SPCA Selangor, points out that “until plant-based or lab-grown alternatives become as affordable and easily available as farmed animal products, we have a moral duty to ensure that farm animals are treated humanely. Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore, we can all agree on one thing: that farm animals deserve higher standards of welfare and care. We call upon all retailers to examine their supply chains and reject or correct suppliers who fail to meet animal welfare, health, and safety standards. We further call upon the authorities to investigate all instances of animal cruelty. This is not merely a food safety issue but also one of cruelty to animals. If we depend on these animals for food, we owe them a better life.”
“Tesco has pledged it will serve customers in Thailand, Europe and the U.K. only safer, higher-quality and more humane “cage-free” eggs—so why not Malaysia? Malaysian customers deserve the same level of quality and food safety as customers in Thailand and Europe,” said Ma. Tesco has publicly committed that it will sell only cage-free eggs in the UK and Europe by 2025, and that it will sell only cage-free eggs in Thailand by 2030 or earlier.