Chickens crammed into wire cages next to the rotting carcasses of other chickens. The floor of a barn coated with flies. Hens with their heads jammed between cages and feeding machines.
The Humane Society of the U.S. released a video last year depicting those conditions at what it said was Kreider Farms in Manheim, Pa., in Lancaster County.
There was no criminal investigation. The owner of Kreider Farms, the largest egg supplier in the state, denied the charges and questioned the authenticity of the video. Later, state inspectors said that the Manheim location had met standards for agricultural facilities in previous years.
A recently proposed Pennsylvania bill would make it a crime to photograph, videotape or audiotape activities on farms without the permission of the owner. The bill would limit information to the public about food safety, animal cruelty and environmental issues, according to its critics.