New investigation reveals poor animal welfare standards in Argentina’s egg industry

NGO Sinergia Animal urges retail giant to adopt better policies in their supply chain and to stop buying eggs from producers with poor welfare standards





[Buenos Aires, November 22nd 2022] — A new investigation carried out by international animal protection organization Sinergia Animal in Argentina revealed unsanitary and poor welfare conditions in egg farms from which retail giant Cencosud—owner of supermarket chains Jumbo, Disco, and Vea—sources its eggs. The evidence collected shows hens living in small crowded cages, some of them stuck in piles of their own excrement, and animals being starved for days. The NGO urges the supermarket chains to adopt policies to phase out the sales of eggs produced in cage systems.

“We gathered evidence showing the shocking living conditions animals are being forced to live in. In the images, hens can be seen crammed together in tiny cages, trapped in piles of excrement, with some dying slowly by being left without any food for up to seven days. This is just unacceptable and we cannot have these big retailers supporting these deplorable scenes in Argentina”

, says Romina Viscarret, Corporate Engagement Manager at Sinergia Animal.


The organization also highlights that Cencosud already has a commitment to end the use of cages among its suppliers in Chile and Brazil, but not in Argentina.

“This is a big contradiction and we hope that Cencosud will understand that Argentinean consumers also want better standards”

, adds Viscarret.


According to a research conducted by IPSOS in Argentina, 64% of the consumers in the country are against the production of eggs in battery cage systems.


Life inside a cage


“In these battery cage systems, each hen spends their life in a space smaller than an A4 sheet of paper. In such a tight space, they have no room for performing their most natural behaviors—such as nesting orspreadingtheir wings completely—and the lack of movement can cause them painful bone fractures due to osteoporosis”

explains Viscarret.


Because of the poor welfare conditions of these systems, a number of countries have banned or started to phase out conventional battery cages, including the European Union and some states of the United States.


In the video provided by the organization, a farm worker can be heard describing how they starve hens for up to seven days to increase their productivity, a common practice within the egg industry known as “forced molting”. It consists of depriving hens of food, which can make them stop laying eggs completely and molt their feathers. The practice, which causes hens extreme stress and often harms their skeletal health, is used in the industry to extend laying performance.


Argentina without cages


Along with the footage, Sinergia Animal is also holding a petition www.argentinasinjaulas.com asking Jumbo, Disco, and Vea to move towards cage-free systems and eventually ban cage eggs altogether.


In cage-free systems, hens are able to walk, fully spread their wings, and can lay their eggs in nests, all of which they’re denied in battery cage systems.


“We are asking Cencosud to start taking Argentinian consumers seriously and announce a cage-free policy here. Since they have already done it in Chile and Brazil, it is clear that they have the resources to do the same in Argentina”

, says Viscarret.


Learn more about Sinergia Animal’s investigation at www.argentinasinjaulas.com.


About Sinergia Animal


Sinergia Animal is an international animal protection organization working in countries of the Global South to reduce the suffering of farmed animals and promote more compassionate food choices. We are recognized as one of the most effective animal protection NGOs in the world by Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE).


High resolution images and videos available at: LINK MEDIA CENTER