Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE For Animals
Today, SAFE has launched its Free Hens from Cages campaign, calling on the Government to free the 1.2 million hens trapped in colony cages in New Zealand.
SAFE is asking New Zealanders to sign its petition calling on Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor to finally ban colony cages.
SAFE Campaigns Manager Jessica Chambers said New Zealand’s political leaders have put this ban off for far too long.
“While the rest of the world is outlawing the caging of hens, New Zealand is lagging behind. It’s a barbaric farming practice that belongs in the history books,” said Chambers.
“Intensive caged confinement is causing millions of hens to needlessly suffer in conditions that are in breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.”
The Animal Welfare Act 1999 states that an animal must have the opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour. Hens living in highly-intensive colony cage systems do not have the ability to express these natural behaviours, a clear violation of the Act.
Colony cages are being outlawed around the world. In 2014 and 2017, the Labour Party made commitments to end intensive farming, including banning the caging of hens. No action has yet been taken by this Labour Government.
The country’s leading foodservice businesses have already independently taken action by removing cage eggs from their supply chains.
“It’s time to create a better future for hens and free them from cages. We’re calling on all caring Kiwis to sign our petition demanding the Minister of Agriculture to ban the caging of all hens in New Zealand for good.”
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We’re creating a future that ensures the rights of animals are respected. Our core work empowers society to make kinder choices for ourselves, animals and our planet.
– SAFE’s Free Hens from Cages petition link can be found here
– Battery cages will be illegal in Aotearoa from 1 January, 2023. Colony cages will however remain legal.
– As at December 2020, 4,149,000 hens were being farmed for their eggs in Aotearoa. Of these, 29% were in colony cages (1,203, 000 birds); 27% were in battery cages (1,148,550 birds); and 44% were in barn systems or on free-range farms (1,825,000 birds). The number of hens living in battery and colony cages totalled 2,351,550 birds.
– Colony cages are in breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1999. The Act states that an animal must have the opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour. Normal behaviour for hens includes but is not limited to: nesting, dustbathing, moving around freely, basking in the sun and foraging. Hens living in highly-intensive colony cage systems are not able to express these natural behaviours, therefore colony cages are in clear breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
– A 2020 Colmar Brunton poll found 76% of New Zealanders polled said they were opposed to the caging of hens.
– Almost all of Aotearoa’s leading egg purchasers have published cage-free egg commitments. This includes all leading supermarkets, restaurant chains, hotel companies, retail outlets, leading foodservice groups and catering companies – even Parliament’s catering provider.
– Colony cages have been banned or are being phased out in parts of Europe, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Walloon Region of Belgium. In the United States, nine states have already banned the sale and production of cage eggs.