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After the release of this investigation Le Naturelle, brand owned by Eurovo Group, cut their supplying contract with the factory farm where these abuses on animals have been filmed.

An undercover investigation by Essere Animali documents distressing violence to chickens and consumer scams at a major company in Emilia Romagna. Its customers include the brands Le Naturelle/Eurovo and Sabbatani.

We filed charges against this farm, which supplies famous brands sold in supermarket.

The dramatic part of the footage is not just workers’ violence, also the crammed sitations hens live in are shocking.

You can see what our investigator witnessed in two different videos, one in the caged hens farm and the other in their cage-free sheds. Almost all eggs sold in Italy, or used for bakery and sweets, come from these two farming systems.

As consumers we are not just part of this problem, we can be part of the solution.
Information can lead us to make more compassionate food choices.



One hen was grabbed by the legs and used to hit others.


During loading and transport, hens are thrown, kicked and crammed into cages. They suffer these brutalities several times, when they are moved from one shed to another for logistical reasons and when they are sent, still very young, to the slaughterhouse.


Many hens cannot cope with the abuse and intensive breeding conditions; they get sick but receive no treatment. They die of starvation inside the shed or are inexpertly and cruelly killed by the workers.


“Barn” eggs come from sheds filled with thousands of hens who will never see grass or sunlight. Even maintaining the statutory density of 9 hens per square metre, overcrowding is rife and pushes the hens into feather pecking. As a result of stress, they tear out each other’s feathers or direct their aggression towards themselves.


A farm worker was filmed saying that mice eat eggs intended for human consumption and nest right where they are collected before they are sold to consumers.


At one of this company’s farms the eggs were marked as organic,
even though the hens did not have access to an outdoor area in which they were free to roam.


Our investigator worked also in a farm of the same company where hens are kept in cages.

With his hidden camera he filmed abuses of workers and documented what happens in the most common farming system in our country. More than 50% of eggs in Italy are still produced by caged hens.

These animals live crammed in incredibly small spaces, where they do not have enough space to even open their wings.

Watch the undercover video


By law, farm workers should ensure the welfare of animals so as not to cause them unnecessary pain or injury. Chickens should be picked up carefully by the legs and chest, but in this farm they are brutally grabbed and thrown into cages. A treatment that can cause injuries, broken bones and even death.


After a hasty diagnosis, injured hens are thrown onto piles of corpses while still alive or beaten to death. Although the law permits the emergency killing of a sick animal, it must be carried out by suitably trained people so as not to cause avoidable suffering to the animals. Images from a hidden camera show chickens dying after long minutes of agony.


More than half of the eggs produced in Italy still come from caged hens. The conditions are so crowded that the hens have their beaks mutilated to prevent them from killing each other due to stress. The lack of natural light and continuous rubbing against the cage cause anaemia, loss of feathers and joint problems. Every day, dozens of hens don’t make it and die inside the farm.

Dead in their own excrement, trapped in conveyor belts or as the vet says, dying of heartbreak. Their bare necks, scratched by the iron bars that hurt them and rip out their feathers every time they look out to eat or breathe. The pain, the voices of those who ask for freedom and to whom no one answers, have left indelible memories. I watch the footage I collected with the volume off, because these voices make me shake like I’m still in there.

Marco our investigator

Egg production in Italy
Total hens reared in Italy 38.9 million
Source: WATT Global media/Ismea 2019
  • 55% Caged hens

  • 34% Cage-free

  • 11% Free range and organic

Average life span of a hen
8 years
1 year and 8 months

in free conditions

in farms

Average annual egg production per hen
285/300 eggs
100 eggs

in farms

in free conditions

Average egg consumption per capita
Source: WATT Global media/Unaitalia 2019
  • 142 eggs direct consumption

  • 66 uova indirect consumption


Before birth
The mother hen communicates with her little ones while they are still inside the egg.

Once born they recognise their mother, with whom they live in close contact for 6 weeks.

They sleep in trees
To escape predators, they rest on branches according to the hierarchies and relationships established within the group.

They are intelligent
Chickens have cognitive capacities similar to those of various mammals and primates.


Thanks to our team of investigators, millions of people are discovering the reality of abuse and cruelty in farms and slaughterhouses. Our work saves animals and needs your support.

Donate now

Per una riforma delle leggi sulla protezione degli animali


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