CRUEL COLONY CAGES REVEALED
In the last campaign report youwill have read about the proposedcolony cages, which are basicallyredesigned battery cages. Withthe help of Government subsidies,Mainland Poultry is running a colonycage trial by housing 47,000 hensin these cages. They have refusedmedia all access as they do notwant New Zealanders to see thesecruel modiﬁed battery hen cages.
SAFE has obtained images frominside this system, supplied byanimal activists, showing for theﬁrst time the overcrowded andbarren conditions the hens areconsigned to. At the time of writingSAFE is preparing to expose theseimages to the public, who will beable to see for the ﬁrst time theintended future of egg farming.SAFE believes the public will beshocked at the sight of the colonybattery cages. “I believe thatpeople will be outraged thathens will continue to suffer,” saysDirector Hans Kriek. Go to SAFE’swebsite for the latest updates asthey come to hand!
BATTERY CAGESBANNED IN THE EU
In January this year theEuropean Union ban on standardbattery cages came into effect.Unfortunately colony cagesystems are presently the newstandard for hen farming inthe European Union, althoughcountries such as Austria andSwitzerland have banned all cages.New Zealand has been laggingbehind Europe for decades, andthe Code review process nowpresents an opportunity to take aleading international position bybanning all cages.
UNITED AGAINSTCOLONY CAGES
Last October, SAFE’s Hans Kriek was joined by Sue Kedgley (formerGreen Party MP) and RobynKippenberger (RNZSPCA) for aspecial press conference in supportof the NoCages campaign. Theywere there to discuss the negativeimpact the proposed colony cageswill have on battery hen welfare.The new colony cages are barely animprovement on the current welfarerequirements and Sue Kedgley madea pledge on behalf of the GreenParty to ban
The revised cage systemknown as the colony cage hasbeen kept secret from the public,leading Hans to ask why. Why isthe media denied access to thissecret facility at Mainland Poultry?What does it have to hide?Meanwhile the Egg ProducersFederation is asking for a phase-out of twenty years for thebattery cage – yeah right!
BRANDS AT RISK BY USING CAGE EGGS
The National Business Reviewrecently commented on resultsfrom SAFE’s survey of attitudestowards cage eggs. Conducted byprofessional pollsters
, thesurvey revealed that companies
NEGLECTED ANDDYING CAGED HENSEXPOSED
In November thousands of layer hens were found living inappalling conditions on farmsthat use illegal cages. Theseconditions were below the legalstandard required. SAFE made anofﬁcial complaint to the Ministryof Agriculture, calling for thesefarms to be closed immediately.A three-month investigationby animal activists sparked ashocking exposé of a numberof battery hen farms using cagesystems that were banned in2008. It is believed the eggs fromthese farms are being supplied toretailers nationwide.Footage given to SAFEshowed thousands of birdssuffering in severely overcrowdedcages and in poor physicalcondition. Dead, dying anddecomposing birds were acommon sight. A veterinaryreport described six birdsrescued from one of the farmsas being in “an appallingly poormedical condition”. SAFE saysmany of the birds had had theirbeaks crudely cut off, wereunderweight and were sufferingfrom severe feather loss.SAFE director Hans Kriek says that despite more thantwenty years of campaigning onthis issue, he is outraged by theabhorrent conditions discovered.“These types of cages have nowbeen banned for nearly four yearsand yet here we have thousandsof animals still suffering in them.Food safety standards are alsoclearly breached, and you have towonder how many unsuspectingconsumers are eating eggs thathave been laid on top of rottingcarcasses!”
HETTY TAKES ONTHE EGG INDUSTRY
Days after the exposé of illegalbattery cages on
on TV One’s
, SAFE helda noisy protest outside theEgg Producers Federationconference, with over 30 people joining the protest to demandcage systems be banned. Eventhough Hetty had been refusedentry to the conference theprevious day, SAFE supportersdid not relent and made suretheir message was heard withthe help of captivating music andlarge, eye-catching banners.Hans Kriek stated, “Theegg industry will have to getused to ongoing pressure fromundercover ﬁlming, protestsand media actions, as wellas higher expectations fromconsumers”. However, as always,the SAFE protest was a peacefuldemonstration, with Hetty takingup her usual cramped spot in thecage to demonstrate how littleroom battery hens have.
face signiﬁcant risks if they areperceived to have cruelty in theirsupply chains.Respondents were surveyed onwell-known brands to ask in whatway, if any, their views of productswould change if they learned thecompanies were using eggs fromcaged hens. The results showedalmost a third said they would feelworse about the company, and theywould prefer the company stoppedusing caged eggs.SAFE campaign director EliotPryor says the new research showsthat if a retailer were connectedto farms that used cruel intensivefarming practices the consequencescould be signiﬁcant.“It is up to the retailer toprovide their customers with aguarantee that the products theysell, and their supply chain, arenot associated with cruelty. Theyneed to be engaged with customerconcerns, and animal welfare is ahigh priority.”It’s wrong that most hens arecooped up in small cages for all of their lives. Hens have feelings too,man! Let’s lose the chicken coopand bring back the chicken run!
Wellington InternationalUkulele Orchestra
I am going to come to your house and lock you in a cage just big enough for your body. If that stresses you out,I’m going to cut off your lips. I might break your teethtoo, so you can’t bite your friends next door. (Nobodylikes a biter.) I’m also going to keep you in the semi-dark so you don’t get too worked up, what with allthe excitement of everything. I’m going to keep youlike this as long as you’re useful, and then, when youinevitably become disease-ridden from all of the shitaround you all day long – did I mention that? – there will belots of shit – I will send you to the slaughterhouse and make you intocat food, or maybe a pie. Then I will go to the dairy, buy that pie, eatit, and when you are sitting, warm in my belly I will ask you: Can youafford to buy the free-range option yet?
CHELSIE PRESTON CRAYFORD, actor
AGAINST COLONY CAGES
nocages campaign gains momentum
CELEBRITIES SAY NOCAGES!
High-proﬁle New Zealanders are getting behind SAFE’s NoCagescampaign to show their support. Here are some of their reactions:
Natural History of Chickens
When I was a kid I remember visiting family friends,who lived in a house that was next door to apoultry farm. My brother and I explored the oldwindowless sheds and what we discovered insidechanged me forever. Stretched out in the dark:hundreds of small wire cages barely the size of ahen; tiny prisons stacked high in all directions. Thiswas a torture house. No place for anything with abeating heart. I learnt that day what happens before theegg hits your plate. With that knowledge there can be no turning back.Cage farming is barbaric and medieval. We must change, evolve, moveforward! If we don’t we’ll continue to live in the dark ages.... and that....well, that’s just plain depressing.
PETER SALMON, award-winning ﬁlmmaker and director
“I currently volunteer at Bird Rescuewhere we are nurturing an ex-batteryhen. It’s very distressing to see this weebird’s suffering in person. Thankfully,she’s going to have a lovely life, andher feathers are growing back at last.It is just unfathomable, the treatmentof those birds. I honestly think that if everyone got to see this little hen, andwhat she’s been through, they’d neverbuy cage eggs again.”MICHELLE LANGSTONE, actor
FREEDOM FOR HENS
Don’t buy cage eggs.
Ask your supermarket orcafé to stop selling cage eggs.
Avoid products that maycontain cage eggs.
Encourage your householdto never buy cage eggs.
Take your message out!Buy a
Let the Chickens Out!
reusable shopping bag atchoosecrueltyfree.org.nz.
BadEggs look at the egg industry.
SAFE director HansKriek speak against colony cages.
“My brother and I explored the old windowless shedsand what we discovered inside changed me forever.”
N E W S A L E R T