08 April 1998
CIWF demands right to roam for chickens
By FWi staff
ANIMAL welfare campaigners have called on British egg farmers to lead the march in Europe and support their call for an umbrella ban on battery cages.
Compassion In World Farming has released a report on the eve of Easter entitled How Do You Like Your Eggs, which calls on UK egg farmers to “stop defending the indefensible” and support a Europe-wide ban on cages.
The report claims that 86% of Britains hens are imprisoned in cages which are so small they make normal behaviour such as nesting, foraging, dustbathing and wing-stretching impossible.
A recent National Opinion Poll found that 89% of the public believes cages are cruel.
Philip Lymbery, CIWF campaign director, said: “Our new report graphically illustrates how the factory farm production of eggs causes misery to hens on a massive scale. About 30 million hens, in Britain alone, are imprisoned in tiny battery cages.”
The National Farmers Union has organised a series of “Roadshow Meetings” throughout the country over the coming weeks, at which its members will discuss EU proposals over the future of cages.
European Commission legislation currently under discussion calls for cage sizes to be doubled from 450cm2 to 800cm2.
But Mr Lymbery said this wont stop feet deformities, weak bones, anxiety and frustration which hens experience due to battery cages.
Mr Lymbery said the UK egg industry was going through a period of great uncertainty and tight profit margins, making it the ideal time for change.
“British egg farmers wouldnt be disadvantaged in any way. We are pushing for united legislation throughout the whole of Europe,” he said.