An animal rights group has released shocking video showing scenes of cruelty and torture carried out by workers at one of the largest egg production facilities in Australia.
Animal Liberation released undercover footage showing workers at the Bridgewater Poultry farm in Victoria abusing laying hens deemed no longer valuable.
During the footage, workers can be seen slamming chickens to the floor, attempting to dropkick them and breaking their necks for their own amusement.
"I hate it when their heads come off," one female worker says in the clip. "Yeah it feels good, look," a second worker replies.
"Oh what are you doing pulling its f*****g head off for?" another worker adds.
One worker can also be seen violently handling chickens while removing them from the tiny cages in which they are being held.
Animal Liberation said the animals were maimed and injured before being gassed to death.
"This video follows the largely unseen story of the egg industry's standard practice of culling 'spent' layer hens (a.k.a 'depopulation')," the group said in a statement. "Depopulation is conducted once hens reach approximately 18 months of age (12 months of laying) as their egg production slows and are therefore deemed no longer economically viable.
"This reality is the same for caged, cage-free/barn-laid, free-range, RSPCA approved and organic egg labels. You can help stop this cycle by leaving eggs and egg products off your plate."
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Bridgewater Poultry was responsible for around 10 percent of Australia's egg market at its peak.
In a statement, Bridgewater Poultry said it was "saddened and deeply appalled" by the conduct of employees from a third-party accredited contractor.
"This apparent conduct was not condoned, approved or permitted in any way by the management or staff of Bridgewater Poultry Farm," the statement adds.
Bridgewater Poultry said they are also urging Animal Liberation to hand over the "raw, unedited and unmodified footage" of their farm to Victoria Police or the Department of Primary Industries so authorities can charge those responsible.
Bridgewater Poultry is owned by a number of farmers, including the Victorian Farmers Federation Egg Group. Its president said that the workers in the clip are from a third-party who they were lucky to get after the farm was recently quarantined following a salmonella outbreak.
"We in the egg industry are at the mercy of only a handful for people who are prepared to do this job. We were fortunate to find somebody who would do the job," president Tony Nesci said.
"Trying to get people to go into a quarantined farm is like trying to find gold nuggets in pig s**t."
Nesci added he does not know who the workers seen in the video are. "I am appalled by what happened but that doesn't make me responsible," he said.
"Stop trying to put the blame on us, they were responsible in their actions."