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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. here is reportedly mulling the sale of its egg farm, which has drawn the ire of animal rights activists who allege that its chickens are treated inhumanely.
According to local press reports, a regional egg producer has contacted the retailer about the facility, which is in Wolcott, N.Y.
Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale confirmed that the grocer and the egg producer, which she declined to identify, were currently in talks. She said no timetable is set for a deal to be struck. If the farm is sold, its 71 employees would have the opportunity to keep working there, she added.
Activists broke into the Wegmans-owned farm in 2004, and videotaped conditions inside for a documentary. A member of the group was convicted of trespassing and received a six-month jail sentence.
An investigation into the operation by state and Wayne County authorities had uncovered no evidence of abuse.
Natale emphasized that the potential sale had "absolutely nothing" to do with controversy related to the farm. The farm houses 750,000 chickens, Wegmans said on its Web site.