Very severe animal cruelty at Mahard Egg Farms in the US

Last evening, I saw a video and photos that I found shocking. It concerns severe animal cruelty that occurs near Sulphur in Oklahoma. The farm is part of Mahard Egg Farms who appear to be headquartered in Texas. I searched LinkedIn and found nine accounts associated with the company, including that of its CFO, Kaitlin Mahard.

I believe that severe animal cruelty can be considered “violent crimes” which would mean that LinkedIn should remove the accounts associated with Mahard Egg Farms. The LinkedIn Professional Community Policies state that “those who engage in violent crimes are not welcome and not permitted on the Services”.

In 2011, Mahard Egg Farm, Inc., indeed a Texas corporation, was told to pay a $1.9 million penalty to settle claims that the company violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) at its egg production facilities in Texas and Oklahoma, according to the EPA:
https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/mahard-egg-farm-inc-clean-water-act-settlement

The latter apparently resulted in this:
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2013-09/documents/mahardegg-cd.pdf

That document includes the following:

C. MORTALITY MANAGEMENT
18. Defendant shall comply with the Mortality Management Requirements in Appendix D at the Vernon-Chillicothe Facility, the Springhill Facility, the Prosper Facility, the Boogie Hill Facility, the Nebo Ranch, and the Ravia Facility, unless such facility is not growing poultry.

Appendix D stated:

APPENDIX D:
MORTALITY MANAGEMENT

I. Texas
65.
No later than the Effective Date of this Decree, Mahard shall cease any transfer of
carcasses between Facilities unless a composting plan is in place that is consistent with 30 T.A.C. 332, Subchapter B, and has been approved by EPA and TCEQ.

66.
Mahard shall ensure that all carcass disposal at the Vernon-Chillicothe, Prosper, and
Springhill Facilities is conducted in accordance with TCEQ Regulatory Guidance, RG-326, Handling and Disposal of Carcasses from Poultry Operations (August 2009) and in accordance with 30 T.A.C. § 335.25. Mahard shall collect all carcasses within 24 hours of death and properly disposed of them within three (3) Days of death. Animals must not be disposed of in any liquid manure or process wastewater system. Disposal of diseased animals shall be conducted in accordance with Tex. Agric. Code § 161.004.

II. Oklahoma
67.
Mahard shall comply with the terms and conditions in Mahard’s 4/29/09 Carcass Disposal Plan, as amended and supplemented by the letter from ODAFF, dated May 7, 2009, to Mahard (both attached here as the Appendix D Supplement).

The Kroger chain has meanwhile dropped Mahard’s eggs and I’ve reached out on LinkedIn to it spokeswoman Kristal Howard to thank Kroger and ask her to ensure that Kroger will never be associated with such severe animal cruelty again.

Kroger’s 2018 Sustainability Report includes an animal welfare policy, which states:

“Kroger has a long-standing commitment to responsible business practices, including the humane treatment of animals,” Kroger says in its policy. “We require our suppliers to adopt industry-accepted animal welfare standards that we endorse, and we monitor our suppliers for compliance with these standards. We align with the Food Marketing Institute’s industry-adopted and industry-aligned animal welfare standards for the following animal proteins: beef, pork, chicken, turkey and eggs. For nearly a decade, Kroger has convened our own independent panel of animal science experts to make recommendations on how we can work with the industry to improve animal welfare.”

I’ve also contacted the EPA.

3 thoughts on “Very severe animal cruelty at Mahard Egg Farms in the US

  1. In 2013, Mahard was told the following:

    9.
    Civil Penalty. Defendant shall pay a civil penalty in the amount of
    $1,900,000. Payment shall be made in two parts, as follows:
    -11­A.
    The first civil penalty payment is due no later than thirty (30) days after the
    Effective Date of this Consent Decree. The first civil penalty payment shall be made as follows:
    i.
    Defendant shall pay $316,667 to the United States. Payment shall be made by
    FedWire Electronic Funds Transfer (“EFT”) to the U.S. Department of Justice in accordance
    with instructions to be provided to Defendant, following lodging of the Consent Decree, by the
    Financial Litigation Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of
    Texas. At the time of payment, Defendant shall simultaneously send written notice of payment
    and a copy of any transmittal documentation (which should reference DOJ case number
    90-5-1-1-09279 and the civil action number of this case) to the United States in accordance with
    Section XIII of this Decree (Notices).
    ii.
    Defendant shall pay $316,667 to the State of Oklahoma. Payment shall be made
    by certified check made payable to the State of Oklahoma (ID # 736017987) and shall be
    delivered to Clayton Eubanks AAG, Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General, Environmental
    Protection Unit, 313 NE 21 st Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or if he is unavailable, to the
    Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma.
    iii.
    Defendant shall pay $183,666 to the State of Texas. Payment shall be made by
    EFT to the Comptroller of Public Accounts, State of Texas, for the Attorney General’s Suspense
    Account

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  2. Have had responses back from the EPA, for which I am very grateful. I have reported it to the USDA and have also contacted PETA to ask them to check whether they may be able to work with the EPA on this.

    Like

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