An animal rights group has released details of what it alleges are horrific conditions at an egg farm in Florida.
The Animal Recovery Mission [ARM] held a press conference earlier today about its two-month undercover investigation at Cal-Maine Egg Farm, in Lake Wales.
According to ARM, Cal-Maine is a public company and is the largest producer and marketer of shell eggs in the United States.
According to a spokesperson for ARM: "During ARM’s two Month undercover operation, an undercover investigator, a retired US Army serviceman decorated with tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, captured disturbing surveillance footage of battery caged hens.
"The hens are overcrowded in cages where they are trampled and strangled to death after becoming wedged in the cages.
"Hens are living amongst dead chickens and die regularly from dehydration, starvation, egg binding and illnesses contracted from forcibly living in unsanitary conditions."
The footage obtained by ARM shows extremely grim conditions within the facility.
A spokesperson said: "The operative documented the hens in overcrowded cages where up to 10 birds were contained in one small battery cage.
"Inadequate water, food and sanitary environments, involving moving ‘walls of cockroaches’ existing amongst the trapped birds close quarters, were captured.
"ARM also witnessed extreme abuse and torture to the hens who were kicked, punched, thrown, slammed against the ground, beaten to death with sticks, pulled apart alive, and jammed in cage doors where they suffered agonizing deaths from being crushed."
The group claims both workers and managers treated the birds in this way.
All evidence from the investigation was given to law enforcement agents.
The ARM spokesperson said: "As a result, a Cal-Maine manager, known as Matthew, has since been charged with animal cruelty, including excessive and inhumane beating upon animals under his supervision.
"ARM is currently working with Investigator J. Scarborough with the Polk County Sheriffs Office and assisting in any way needed with their investigation."
Egg producer Cal-Maine has reportedly told local reporters that the video is 'staged'.