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McDonald's, Target drop egg supplier over animal cruelty charges

MINNEAPOLIS — McDonald's and Target dropped one of the nation's largest egg suppliers after an animal rights group released an undercover video of the egg producer's farms in three states.

McDonald's Corp. said Friday it had dropped Sparboe Farms as a supplier after a video by the group Mercy for Animals showed cases of animal cruelty at five facilities in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado. Target Corp. soon followed, saying it would pull eggs from the Litchfield, Minn.-based company off its shelves.

"Having been made aware of the unacceptable conditions in the company's egg laying facilities, effective immediately, Target will discontinue its business relationship with Sparboe Farms," Minneapolis-based Target said in a statement late Friday.

Sparboe produces 300 million eggs a year, in regular, liquid, frozen and dried form, and ships them to restaurants and stores across the country. The company's Vincent, Iowa, plant had billed itself as the sole fresh egg supplier to every McDonald's west of the Mississippi River.

McDonald's officials say Sparboe was a "significant" supplier and that it was unclear when, or if, the company would work with the Golden Arches again. Sparboe's Iowa facility produced 2 million eggs a day, seven days a week.


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