Cruelty to animals for organic eggs

Project report Deutsches Tierschutzbüro e.V. – Support with documentation “Cruelty to animals for organic eggs”

In recent years, the demand for organic eggs has increased, massively. Especially after the many egg scandals and the associated cruelty to animals, consumers willingly and increasingly turn to the so-called “good” organic eggs in supermarkets, hoping to support species-appropriate animal husbandry. In 2018, for example, over one billion organic eggs were purchased in Germany, and the trend is rising. However, the idyll on the packaging is deceptive, because organic has long since become mass animal husbandry and like that every egg can be associated with animal cruelty. This is also shown by one of the documentations from the Deutsches Tierschutzbüro e.V., undertaken on an organic farm in Bad Iburg (Lower Saxony).

Each egg has a legally required numerical code, which can be used to locate the farm where the egg was laid by using the website “”. That was the case at an EDEKA store in North Rhine-Westphalia. A code was read off an egg and the corresponding chicken farm was identified. In a night and fog action, pictures of the organic farm were taken. The pictures showed scandalous conditions. Chickens were crammed together and stacked on top of each other on grid floors. The keeping reminded more of a cage than of an organic farm. Injured chickens were not treated and many died due to the inappropriate way of keeping them. Over several days, hidden cameras had also documented that dead chickens were not disposed of properly. In some cases, maggots had already formed around the carcasses. In one scene a bloodstained egg can be seen. Presumably the hen had previously been in great pain when laying this egg. Another hen had become entangled in a string and was threatening to suffocate. Animal rights activists* on site were able to free it from this unfortunate situation.

Much of what you see in these pictures is completely normal for organic farming and not even forbidden. However, the poor hygienic conditions, the fact that dead animals have not been removed from the stable and sick animals have not been treated, are against the law and are not allowed, especially not on an organic farm. We immediately filed criminal charges against the operator and informed the Lower Saxony Ministry of Agriculture in Hanover, the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety as well as the organic certification body and the responsible veterinary office. The inspection by the veterinary office did not reveal any major defects. However, the office only carried out the inspection several days after we had reported it. The operator therefore had more than enough time to remedy any shortcomings. EDEKA reacted much more quickly and removed the eggs from its range. The public prosecutor’s office informed us that they had started the investigation.

Many media have reported about this discovery. For example, SAT.1 akte aired a 15-minute report. RTL Punk 12, RTL 2 News, Focus Online, the NDR and many other media also reported nationwide about our revelation. We were particularly pleased that the journalists also showed that organic eggs are not as positively assigned as the manufacturers would like them to.

The media coverage reached out to almost 90 million people. Reaching as many people as possible and educating them as well as encouraging them to rethink their consumption is one of the central goals of the Deutsches Tierschutzbüro e.V..

Tirelessly we and other animal rights organisations report about scandalous conditions on agricultural livestock farms. Time and again, husbandry regulations and laws are violated and more controls are demanded. However, as this research proves once again, controls are of no use. The only way that really helps the animals sustainably is the vegan way of life.

Further information:

How did the Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche support the Deutsche Tierschutzbüro e.V.

The organic egg research was funded by the Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche. A donation was made for the purchase of camera equipment. We thank you very much for your support.

The purchase of the camera equipment is sustainable, because the cameras can and will be used again for other discoveries and documentations. Thus, the acquisition also meets the requirements of the foundation, which attaches great importance to sustainable use.

What is the Deutsche Tierschutzbüro e.V.?

We are a leading animal rights organisation and give animals our voice. The focus of our work is on industrial factory farming and fur farming, because these areas are responsible for the greatest exploitation and cruelty to animals in the world. We are confident that we can make the most sustainable changes for the animals by concentrating on these areas.

We expose abuses in animal husbandry and bring to the public what the agricultural industry tries to withhold from society. From our Berlin office, we work in a strong team of full-time and voluntary employees*. Together we are committed to animal rights every day with a lot of passion and we always remain authentic. Our actions are well thought-out and we act professionally in every situation.

As a nationwide organisation, we cooperate with a large network of activists, media partners and our supporters to use all our energy, creativity and knowledge for the benefit of animals. We work with original, quick-witted and provocative ideas and campaigns.

For the animals, we are also prepared to cross borders. We know no fear and we do not let anyone silence us. We use various channels to educate people and involve them in our work and activities. Only together we can come closer to our vision of a society in which all living beings have equal rights.


We stand up for animals, fight tirelessly for their freedom and establish animal rights in society. We fight against industrial factory farming and fur farming because they are responsible for the greatest animal suffering in the world. Through our campaigns and undercover research, we personally uncover the abuses in animal husbandry and inform people about them. As long as animals are exploited and tortured for products such as meat, milk, eggs and fur, we demand a radical change and strive for a change towards a society in which respect and care for animals is an important basis.


We fight for a world in which all living beings and their natural habitats are respected. Animals live in freedom with equal rights according to their natural needs. The vegetable diet and way of life is lived and cultivated by humans so that animals are no longer exploited and tormented. In this world, animal exploitation no longer has any meaning. For the life of all animals in freedom.


The Deutsche Tierschutzbüro e.V. has its headquarters in Sankt Augustin and runs an office in Berlin (Streustraße 68 in 13086 Berlin). The association is registered in the register of associations of the local court Siegburg under VR 3499. It was registered as a non-profit association in 2013. Before that, the association operated under the name Arbeitskreis humaner Tierschutz, which was a non-profit organization, too. The association carries the donation seal of the initiative transparent civil society and presents its input and output transparently on the Internet:

Further information on the Deutsche Tierschutzbüro e.V. can be found here:


Status: January 2020, Author: Jan Peifer (Chairman of the Board Deutsches Tierschutzbüro e.V.)