Parkrun has dropped The Happy Egg Company as a sponsor after animal rights activists claimed the firm kept hens in filthy, overcrowded conditions.
The 5km event charity ditched the British egg company after Peta released video showing animals packed into dingy sheds.
Footage showed thousands of birds cramped together on farms in Cumbria, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire.
Other images appeared to show hens left to scratch around on muddy fields rather than grassy landscapes like The Happy Egg Company’s website shows.
PETA Director of Corporate Projects Dawn Carr said: ‘We’ll all run a bit easier knowing that cruelty to animals is no longer funding our Saturday morning Parkrun.
‘Hens suffer on egg farms, which is why so many people are turning to truly happy vegan eggs, which are cholesterol-free, nutritious, and perfect for any athlete.’
Peta’s probe into farms run by The Happy Egg Company started in March and claimed it found the animals in horrendous conditions.
The activists said hens were ‘crammed tightly inside dark sheds’, ‘could not engage in natural behaviour’ and ‘some had open wounds’.
Footage showed thousands of birds cramped together on farms in Cumbria, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire. Pictured: File photo of a Parkrun event
The 5km event charity ditched the British egg company after Peta released video showing animals packed into dingy sheds
It added: ‘Peta also documented that the corpses of dead birds were left to rot among the living.’
Peta concluded: ‘Happy Egg Co positions itself in a bright, cheery way to lead consumers to believe that its products come from ‘happy hens’.
‘A whole section of its website is dedicated to the unsubstantiated and misleading claim that the hens are ”happy”.
‘In reality, we filmed hens in filthy, overcrowded sheds who had been subjected to routine mutilation.
‘As a result of being stressed, frustrated, and kept in unnatural conditions, they likely peck each other’s feathers out until they are red, raw, and bleeding.’
Parkrun, which is now a worldwide running event, has been sponsored by The Happy Egg Company since 2018.
The Happy Egg Company portrays its farms as green landscapes where chickens roam freely
The charity’s CEO Nick Pearson previously told how he turned down ‘big cheques’ from companies he decided were ‘unethical’.
He appeared on the Free Weekly Times podcast in 2018 and touched on the partnership with The Happy Egg Company.
He said: ‘There is a process that we would go to with regard to filtering any sponsor, and that filter would specifically be ”can it support our objectives around health and wellbeing”.
‘We feel this decision was authorised, our view is that nutrition is a critical part of health and wellbeing’
He added: ‘The more we can encourage less processed consumption and more natural consumption the stronger we feel we’re doing the job.’
Parkrun is funded through cash from sponsors and individual donations. The Happy Egg Company is no longer listed as a sponsor on its website.
But it is still partnered with Vitality, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Persil and Co-op. MailOnline has contacted Parkrun and The Happy Egg Company for comment.