Allegations of animal cruelty have prompted an investigation of New England's largest egg farm.
A group called Mercy for Animals says undercover video of Quality Egg of New England in Turner, Maine, shows hens stuffed in cramped cages, some of them sick and injured.
The farm has more than four million laying hens and produces tens of thousands of cases of eggs each week. State inspectors searched the farm yesterday and prosecutors will investigate before deciding whether any charges will be filed.
Mercy for Animals director Nathan Runkle says a civilized society has a responsibility to protect all animals from needless suffering, including those raised for food.
The group says Quality Egg is a major supplier for Pennsylvania-based Eggland's Best. The company's Web site says its suppliers follow strict standards for animal welfare.