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MINNEAPOLIS -- Sam's Club is the latest business to end it's relationship with Litchfield-based Sparboe Farms.

In a written statement Sam's Club said, "With concern for recent allegations portraying detrimental management and animal welfare issues at Sparboe Farms egg laying facilities, Sam's Club has discontinued our relationship with Sparboe Farms as an egg supplier."

This is just the latest in a growing list of companies who have distanced themselves from Sparboe Farms after anundercover video was released by animal rights group Mercy for Animals.

The video showed Sparboe Farms' workers allegedly abusing chickens and it also showedthe chickensliving insmall, cramped cages.

Since the video's release, McDonald's, Target, along with Lunds and Byerly's stores have stopped purchasing Sparboe Farms'eggs.

"The acts depicted in the footage are unacceptable, inconsistent with our value as farmers and violate our animal care policies and procedures," said Sparboe Farms President Beth Sparboe Schnell. "All of us at Sparboe Farms were shocked and deeply disturbed when we saw the video shot in our barns that depicted animal mistreatment."

Sparboe Farms said Monday it's creating a task force to review its food safety, animal care and sustainability practices.

The task force will also develop best practices in those areas for all the company's production and processing facilities in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado. The company says the task force will include three employees and three outside experts.

In addition to four firings announced last week, Sparboe says a production manager also has been relieved of his duties.

As the story creates buzz in the egg producing industry,Mercy for Animals hopes it helps create legislative backing for a proposed bill that would ban the practice of keepign chickens in small cages and allow them to roam more freely.

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