VANCOUVER, British Columbia – An animal rights group is alleging animal cruelty at two chicken farms in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The group Mercy For Animals Canada recently released a hidden-camera video that depicts hens in crowded cages, and workers smashing chicks and throwing them into garbage bags. The undercover video was shot at Creekside Grove Farms and Ku-Ku Farms from May to August.

Mercy for Animals Canada claims that Creekside Grove provides chicks to Ku-Ku Farms, which then supplies eggs to Burnbrae Farms in Ontario. Burnbrae Farms is the primary egg supplier to McDonald's Canada. The animal rights group urged McDonald's Canada to take a stand against animal cruelty. For its part, McDonald's said it does buy eggs from Burnbrae Farms and other suppliers, but the company refuted claims that its eggs come from Creekside Grove or Ku-Ku Farms.

Peter Clarke, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada, responded to the Mercy For Animals Canada video, saying: "As a fifth-generation egg farmer and chair of our industry, I have visited hundreds of Canada's more than 1,000 egg farms. I have never seen hens treated in the manner shown. I share in the public's response to the video. The images shown in the video are unacceptable. However, I object to any perception that this is in any way common, tolerated or representative. It simply is not.

"The standards of our industry are set with the guidance of scientists, farmers, veterinarians and other third-party experts. Enforcement falls on Egg Farmers of Canada, provincial boards, and a national network of inspectors. We are investigating the available video now and will ensure corrective actions are taken."