NZ Cage Egg Producers Warned of Protests

NEW ZEALAND - Producers of cage eggs are being warned to expect an outraged mob of consumers and animal activists utterly disgusted at the appalling treatment of battery hens on farms around New Zealand.
calendar icon 17 November 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

"The industry needs to wake up and stop ignoring consumer opinion."
Hans Kriek, SAFE director

Animal advocacy organisation SAFE and members of the public will join the protest outside the 2011 Egg Producers Federation conference today (17 November) in Auckland, following the recent exposé in TV One’s Sunday programme.

Demonstrators will be outside the conference from 9am today to bring attention to the plight of the three million hens kept in barren battery cages. Hetty, the ex-battery hen mascot, will be maintaining a vigil inside a model battery cage, joined by members of the public from noon.

A staggering 88 per cent of the country’s layer hens is housed in barren cages, and while the industry has signaled a phase-out of current cages, the industry is asking for twenty years to achieve this. SAFE director Hans Kriek says this is simply not good enough.

"If anyone wants to know the meaning of animal cruelty then they just have to take a look at the New Zealand egg industry. The Sunday programme proves there are massive problems within the egg industry. Even more shocking is to learn that MAF officials have been aware of farms using illegal cages and have failed to close them down," says Mr Kriek.

The draft Welfare Code for Layer Hens is currently under review, however SAFE says it understands that the code will allow the use of colony cages which are still inadequate and cruel.

"There is overwhelming public support to end to battery cages now with eight out of ten Kiwis agreeing that they are cruel. The industry needs to wake up and stop ignoring consumer opinion," says Mr. Kriek.

The new code will be announced early in 2012 by the Agriculture Minister. In the meantime SAFE is encouraging consumers to send letters to the Minister calling on him to ban all battery cages by clicking here.

Protest Details

Hetty will be outside the Egg Producers Federation conference at the Spencer on Byron Hotel, Byron Avenue, Takapuna, Auckland from 9am to 1pm. The main public protest event will take place from 12pm.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
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