press releases

Eight Hens Rescued from Egg Production Factory

August 09, 2008

Activists of the animal rights initiative Maqi liberated five hens who were exploited for egg production on the night to Saturday. They were caged in a so called aviary system.

The farmer, from whom the chickens were liberated, is mainly selling the corpses of several bird species&emdash;geese, chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls etc.&emdash;the egg production amounts only a small part. Although just few laying hens are exploited, they don’t feel better than these in factories with thousands of animals&emdash;over and over there are corpses lying around (partially rotting or skeletonized) as can be seen on the photos documenting the liberation.

The kind of the imprisonment matters little for the animals. Hence, Maqi has rescued chickens from several kinds of imprisonment: free range, battery farm, deep-litter system, aviary system and breeding factory.

"Egg consumers often consider where the eggs which they are consuming come from: do the organic chickens, who get organic grain, feel better, so that they die healthier when their heads are chopped off after one year; or the free range chickens with more space than the organic ones; or the deep-litter system chickens with a roof over their heads as a protection from buzzards; or the caged chickens with smaller social groups and the lowest mortality rate (until they end as a boiling fowl)", notes Achim Stößer of Maqi.

Vegans in contrast recognized that every kind of egg production for the humans’ consumption is inevitably linked to captivity, suffering and death. They have drawn the only ethically justifiable conclusion: to stop consuming eggs (and all other animal products).

A photo documentation can be found in
our image archive. For more informations cf. the detailed press release Tierbefreiung: 8 Hennen aus Eierproduktionsanlage gerettet (German). [mp]

Hens Liberated from Aviary and Battery System

August 13, 2007

On the night to Monday activists of the animal rights initiative Maqi liberated five hens who were exploited for the egg production. The animals were liberated from different forms of imprisonment: three from an aviary system (a deep-litter system, where&emdash;to pen up more animals&emdash;perches are added), two from a battery system.

"Unlike some felons who got life imprisonment but with prospective pardon, chickens in aviary and deep-litter systems are de facto encaged for all their lives&emdash;often in cages (otherwise in dens or factory-like halls)", says Achim Stößer of Maqi. "Nevertheless in a misleading way only the battery system is called 'cage system'. Animal welfarists, who only want to reform the animal exploitation, not to abolish it&emdash;unlike animal rights activists&emdash;, are promoting supposedly better exploitation systems. They name the so called small aviary 'big cage'."

Independent of the construction of their prison the hens suffer from their captivity (which causes sociopathic behavior like cannibalism), and their unnatural selective breeding. Their male siblings are gassed or crushed immediately after the hatching. When the female chickens have started to lay eggs they are exploited for one year and then killed, if they survived it. The liberated hens, however, can live the rest of their lives without threat in the greatest possible freedom with humans who take care for them.

"Therefore, animal liberations", says Martin Pätzold of Maqi, "are&emdash;even if an ethical inacceptable judiciary accounts them worldwide as larceny or even as acts of terrorism&emdash;a categorical imperative and as legitimate as for example the liberation of human slaves or concentration camp prisoners."

What applies for eggs also applies for milk and of course for the consumption of dead animals, hence it is necessary to end the acts of violence (including vegetarian ones) and to live vegan.

A photo documentation can be found in
our image archive. For more informations cf. the detailed press release Tierbefreiung: Hennen aus Volierenhaltung und Legebatterie gerettet (German). [mp]

Hens Rescued from Free-Range Imprisonment

July 10, 2007

The "good exploitation" myth

On the night from Saturday to Sunday activists of the initative Maqi - For Animal Rights, Against Speciesism saved the lives of three chickens who were exploited for egg production. The animals were rescued from a so-called free-range husbandry.

"Often free-range husbandry is thought to be something good", regrets Jonas Fischer of Maqi, "because the 'laying hens' are granted more room according to the law than in other forms of exploitation for egg production - even more than for 'organic eggs' which hardly anyone knows. But 'free-range husbandry' means suffering and death like all others. The rescued hens are still young, some halve a year old, hence in a rather good health condition. They have started laying eggs only short before. One every day, unlike normal not torture-bred chickes two dozends a year. Within a few months, when their 'productivity' lessens due to age, they would have been killed, just like those who could not be liberated, and as all their male siblings immediately after hatching. No matter how their prisons are built they suffer from imprisonment and torture breeding." Vegetarian propaganda which only opposes direct corpse consumption but not murder for eggs and milk is cynical. Same holds for animal welfarist propaganda which bargains over marginal differences between "battery cages" and the new "small aviaries" and hence endorses at least implicitely, usually even explicitely, "barn systems" as well as "organic" or "free-rang husbandry" instead of demanding animal rights and thus the only ethically acceptable way of life: veganism.

A photo documentation can be found in
our image archive. For more informations cf. the detailed press release Hennen aus Freilandhaltung befreit (German).

Hens Liberated from Battery and Barn System

March 12, 2007

On the night from Saturday to Sunday activists of the initative Maqi - For Animal Rights, Against Speciesism rescued four chickens who had been exploited for egg production. Animals from different forms of imprisonment were liberated: one hen who had escaped from a battery cage and sat on the ground (doomed to die of thirst), another one from a cage, the two others from barn system imprisonment. No matter how their prisons are built hens suffer from imprisonment and torture breeding. Also they are killed after a few months if they have survived that long, just as their male siblings immediately after hatching. Among the imprisoned hens several corpses were found which is typical for all forms of exploitation.

A photo documentation can be found in
our image archive. For more informations cf. the detailed press release Hennen aus Käfig- und Bodenhaltung befreit (German).

Chickens Rescued from Rearing Facility

June 25, 2006

Maqi activists rescued two chicklets from a rearing facility. A photo documentation can be found in our image archive. For more informations cf. the detailed press release Hühner aus Volierenhaltung befreit (German).

Hens Rescued from "Battery Farm"

September 4, 2005 * Translated by Knulprek

On the night from Friday to Saturday, eight hens were rescued from egg production, i.e. the cages of a so-called "laying battery" by activists of the initiative Maqi - For Animal Rights, Against Speciesism.

Currently, bird flu and election campaigns lead to a reviving of propaganda for this kind of bird exploitation. For instance, the newspaper Fuldaer Zeitung (August 31, 2005) quotes an "egg producer and brooder salesman" who claims "caging to be the most hygienic" and that "laying batteries are cruelty to animals in any case": "The sole purpose of free range eggs is for consumers to calm their conscience somewhat."

Very true - for the victims of egg consumers, it's of only marginal importance whether the hens are imprisoned in "free range", "perchery" or "cages": their suffering in the egg production lasts for about a year - in any of those, even if the reasons are partially different in the different kinds of "livestock husbandry" (here technopathies because of cages and wire meshes, there rather sociopathies like cannibalism, increased risk of infections etc.), aside from the fact that those animals are results from torture breeding. After that they're killed, provided that they did survive that long. The hens male siblings are shredded or gased immediately after hatching. The ancestor of the domestic chicken, the Red Junglefowl, only lays about twenty eggs per year for procreation, as opposed to almost daily like torture bred "laying hens".

"If millions of people are pent up lifelong in overcrowded stadiums, where they often trample each other to death", says Achim Stößer from Maqi, "is it then really an improvement to confine them in groups of five to countless telephone boxes, so that they are safe from possibly infected migratory birds who might fly over the stadium?"

But propaganda for animal exploitation also runs in a different direction: "Outdoor, the animals see the sun and the blue sky", according to the kitsch picture painted by the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (September 2, 2005). "The hen again lives in its natural environment."

"The truth is that the 'natural environment' of chickens consists of forests and savannas with trees which provide sufficient coverage from raptors", continues Stößer, "so that chickens have a natural fear of open sky and the sun, which is why only one out of twenty hens ventures to leave the building of their free range prison for a courtyard walk at all, and those who do so only spend a fraction of their runout time there."

Stößer continues: "Of course no hint to the only ethically justifiable alternative consistent with animal rights - veganism - is given by the speciesists of all kinds."

And so, rescue efforts like this one offer the opportunity to point at the reality of animal exploitation, and further they save a few individuals' lives.

The freed hens are brought to people, with whom they can live optimally cared for in greatest possible liberty up to their natural death. The action was documented, pictures can be found on the web page of the animal rights initiative Maqi.

Hens Rescued from Rearing Facility

June 12, 2005

Maqi activists have liberated four chickens from a "rearing factory" for so-called laying hens. The hens were kept in in "rearing batteries" – rows of cages with a ground surface of approximately half a square metre, with up to 14 animals imprisoned in each cage.

Although the animals were still young and comparatively healthy, a deep freezer at the front of the enclosure was filled with corpses – hens that had not survived their first weeks.

Directly after hatching the chicks were separated according to sex for egg production in exploited breeding lines, and almost all the males killed. From this brutality, the chicks were transported to "rearing batteries" such as these, after around three to four months, when they begin to lay eggs, they will be put to work as egg producers in battery farms. After a year, when their "laying capacity" decreases, they wil be slaughtered. According to Claude Martin of Maqi, "over a quarter of a billion hens were held captive in Europe alone for egg consumption, which means over half a billion deaths per year".

The rescued hens were brought to people, who will provide them with the necessary care and where they can lead their lives with the greatest possible freedom.

Twelve Ducks Rescued

October 16, 2004

Maqi animal rights activists rescued twelve further ducks in the night of October, 16 from a free range fattening facility (cf. press release from October, 2).

In the shed with some three hundred ducks there were at least a dozen dead or dying animals. The comparison with those rescued two weeks ago was remarkable. Although the major aspect of such a rescue is to prevent the ducks from being killed a few weeks later, the condition of the imprisoned animals alone is shocking. "The water birds do not have any access to a creek or pond which would be essential for them. Hence their feathers are stuck together by their own feces on which they have to live in the fattening facility perched together. Many of them suffer from diseases," says Tanja Mueller of Maqi.

Images of the rescue operation can be seen at

Four Ducklings Rescued from Fattening Facility

October 2, 2004

Maqi animal rights activists rescued four ducklings in the night of September, 30 from a free range fattening facility.

Although the circumstances for the ducks in the facility are those propagated as "acceptable" by animal welfarists many of the mainly very young ducks were in a horrible condition. "Dead animals lay at the edge of the perch," says Tanja Mueller of Maqi. "Among the living ones there were many obviously sick ones, some with deformed legs, some were so weak they could not stand."

The example of this facility demonstrates that their is no "gentle exploitation", that not only the killing of the animals cannot be justified by anything but that non-human animals, ducks in this case, are looked at as "property", nothing but bodies destined to end up on a plate after weeks and months of suffering in a fattening facility.

So anybody who does not just want to "protect" animals to comfort their consciousness while still exploiting and killing them, but who wants to act ethically responsible, does not merely speak up for "better conditions" but for animal rights and goes vegan.

The rescued ducks have been brought to persons where they will live a life in greatest possible liberty under care until they die a natural death. Images of the rescue operation can be seen at

15 Chickens Rescued from Battery Farm and Barn Laid Facility

September 19, 2004

Maqi animal rights activists rescued 15 chickens in the night of Saturday from egg production: ten of them from barn laid sheds and five from battery cages. Opposed to what animal welfarists and animal welfare organisations claim it hardly matters how they are imprisoned: while the ones are perched together in small groups in cages and have to stand on sloped wire floors the others suffer from stress and cannibalism caused by cramped confinement in large groups. Hence many hens in this barn laid shed have nearly been defeathered, too. Two of them were completely nude so that they will come through the following days with the help of a warmth lamp only.

Independent of the exploitation method the hens live for approximately one year only in which they lay up to three hundred eggs. Then their "laying productivity" lessens, the hens are physically at the end because of the enormous demands of egg production an imprisonment, and are therefore killed.

The male chicks of the "laying breeds" are gassed or blended immediately after hatching for they are "useless" for egg production.

"Everybody who is consuming eggs, whether whole ones or processed into cookies, noodles, cakes etc., is responsible for the suffering and murder of the chickens," says Tanja Mueller of Maqi. Hence in addition to such rescues the animal rights initiative Maqi does educational work to inform others about animal rights and the necessity of a vegan life style.

The rescued hens now live in Baden and Westfalia with people who did not adopt them to get their eggs but will enable them to live a life with care but greatest possible liberty until their natural death.

Pictures of the rescue operation can be found at

40 Chickens Rescued from Battery Farm and Rearing Station

June 02-06, 2004 * Edited by Noah Hannibal

40 chickens were freed by activists from Maqi - For Animal Rights, Against Speciesism from a battery farm on the night of June 2, 2004 and from a rearing station on the night of June 6, 2004.

At the battery farm the Maqi activists rescued a hen from the corridor between the rows of cages, who had probably escaped from her cage during the removal of a corpse. Cut off from water and food she soon would have died of thirst. Three further hens were freed from their cages during the investigation.

In the rearing station 36 baby chickens were freed, "we were able to free and save them from exploitation in egg production and subsequent murder," says Tanja Mueller from Maqi. The rescued hens were taken to be people who will care for them where they will be allowed to live as free as possible and not exploited for eggs.

In all forms of imprisonment, whether battery, free range or "organic" the hens live about one year in which they lay up to three hundred eggs. Then their "laying performance" drops. The hens are then killed (chickens live up to ten years in natural conditions) and their corpses are traded as "chicken soup" or carved up in dog or cat food. The male chicks of the laying hens are killed immediately after hatching because they are "useless" for egg production.

"Whoever consumes eggs (whole or manufactured in cookies, noodles etc) is responsible for the suffering of the hens - and their murder," says Tanja Mueller. Therefore, in addition to rescue work Maqi does educational work to inform people about animal rights and the necessity of a vegan life.

Hens Rescued from Manure Pit

September 18-23, 2003 * Edited by Noah Hannibal

So-called "laying hens" were liberated from a rearing factory on the night of September 18th, 2003 by Maqi activists. The factory, in which young hens are caged until they are sexually mature, was mostly empty except for several hundred roosters and several dozens hens. The Maqi open rescue team saw numerous eggs lying around showing that the hens had started laying and must have only recently been taken to the "egg production factories", as neither the manure pits nor the cages had been cleaned.

In garbage cans the activists found several corpses of baby birds who had died as a result of the poor conditions in the rearing factory. In one of the manure pits the activists found a hen who had somehow escaped her cage and fled there. She was weakened due to lack of water and would have slowly died of dehydration if the activists had not rescued her.

The rescued hen has been taken to a sanctuary where she will be cared for until the natural end of her life.

Several days later on the night of September 23, 2004 Maqi activists saved three more hens from the manure pits at the same rearing factory after all cages had been emptied.

Hen Rescued from Aviary

July 22, 2003

A so called "laying hen" was rescued today by Maqi activists from an aviary. In this facility the hens mainly live on a wire grid, hence tousands of them in one large cage. There was also a rooster among them who probably had not been recognized as such at sexing and thus had survived up to now.

The Maqi activists had entered the facility for research reasons and found there a hen in the corridor who had escaped from her prison and now desperately ran to and fro. For she soon would have died of thirst, being cut off drinking water, the animal rights activists took her into care.

Pictures of the rescue can be found on the website of the AR initiative.

Open Rescue of 30 Baby Hens

July 13, 2003 * Edited and translated by Lisa Steiner

German animal rights group Maqi - For Animal Rights, Against Speciesism conducted an open rescue late Saturday night at a battery hen rearing factory. 30 baby hens were rescued from the factory by Maqi activists, 45,000 had to be left behind. The baby hens were rescued from cages half a square metre in size (14 hens being reared for the battery were crammed into each of these cages).

The rescued chicks had been hatched in a breeding facility where the males, useless for egg production, were gassed to death immediately upon hatching. The females were transported to the rearing factory where they were being kept for three months, until they started to lay eggs. The hens are then transported to a battery hen factory, and after a year there when their laying rate starts to deteriorate, they are killed. Maqi spokesperson Tanja Mueller states "Each year over 40 million hens in Germany are caged for egg consumption, that means 80 million dead birds per year."

The rescued hens, and two roosters who presumably were missed by the chicken sexers, were taken to a sanctuary where they will receive proper care and be able to live out their lives in freedom, never having to know the misery of life in a battery cage.

Recently two Maqi activists were fined for a previous open rescue of hens, a ruling which they are appealing.

Lawsuit Against Animal Liberation

June 02, 2003

Animal rights initiative, Maqi - for Animal Rights, against Speciesism announced today that there will be a lawsuit against Iris Berger and Achim Stößer on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2003 in the district court of Sinsheim (Germany) for the open rescue of hens. They are being prosecuted for "larceny"

The manager of a fattening plant in which turkeys, geese and ducks are imprisoned, reported to the police in November last year that he recognized his plant in photos on the Maqi website that document Maqi open rescues. Subsequently larceny charges were pressed.

According to the German Criminal Code, someone who is responsible for larceny is one "who takes away someone else's property with the intention to illegally give this thing to himself or a third party [...]" (StGB, §. 242, pt. 1). However, Achim Stößer of Maqi says 'it is obvious that open rescues are not performed to 'give' the animals to oneself, but to withdraw them from the access of those who hold them prisoner and intend to kill them. The prosecuting attorney's office deliberately ignored this fact. We have to see whether the judge will follow the public prosecutor's speciesistic way of thinking."

"Slave liberation was seen as larceny in slave-owning societies as well," Stößer goes on. "A law that prohibits animal liberations would be as ethically unacceptable as one against slave liberation. Laws like the 'Law for Protection of German Blood and Honor,' in short 'Rassenschandegesetz" (race defilement law), of 1935 or the law against 'Republikflucht' (absconding from the German Federal Republic) in the FRG made criminals of those who enact them, not those who violate them. Those who object that these have not been constitutional states should take a look at German Federal laws: was the discrimination against wives, homosexuals and raped men legitimate? Or wasn't it rather legitimate or even ethically necessary not to obey them or take action against them, respectively?"

Only in 1953 was the Civil Code changed to the effect that wives were no longer subjected to the determination of their husbands. §175 of the Criminal Code in the sharpened version of 1935 made any homosexual act (between men) liable to a penalty until it was reformed in 1969. It was "liberalized" in 1973 and abolished in 1994, and only after a change of sexual criminal law in May 1998(!), did "sexual harassement" become a gender-independent element of a criminal offense. Before only women had been defined as victims, while according to the law, rape of men did not exist. "Just as that, a speciesistic legislation has to be valued in a society that views non-human animals as property."

Berger and Stößer both had received an order of summary punishment of 30 daily rates each for "larceny" in 10 cases and filed an objection. From 12 o'clock there will be a demonstration for animal rights and animal liberation in front of the court building. The trial will take place in the district court of Sinsheim, Werder Street, No 12, room 102, beginning 14:30.