Animal programs

Celebrities, animal welfare charities and MPs sign letter demanding end to cages for chickens


A letter signed and supported by celebrities, charities and the MPS calls out the UK government for its inaction on the ban on cages in egg production. Cages are one of the most condemned farming practices in the world, yet they continue to be used.

Source: Animal Equality UK/Youtube

Almost 14 million chickens are stuck in cages across the UK, but 76% of UK consumers think banning cages should be a priority. The cages are incredibly inhumane and restrict the movement of the hens. This impacts their well-being and they suffer psychological and physical damage in caged environments during their short lives.

Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, said: “Each year, 14 million hens are kept in tiny cages with barely enough room to spread their wings. This is unacceptable for a nation that prides itself on high agricultural welfare standards.

“While we welcome the efforts of retailers paving the way for the elimination of cages, we still estimate that after these commitments there will be 8 million hens confined to cages for their entire lives. We urge the government to further align the legislation on political, public and retail sentiment, and to launch the planned consultation now, so that we can finally ban laying hens from living behind bars.

Source: Animal Equality/Youtube

The letter was submitted to Defra on the first anniversary of the publication of the government’s action plan for animal welfare. However, the government has made no progress in the year since pledging to “review the use of cages for laying hens”.

The joint letter was signed by celebrities including Lucy Watson, broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher, actor Peter Egan, vet Marc Abraham OBE and James Dunmore. 13 animal charities have also signed up, including Humane League UK, RSPCA, Conservative Animal Foundation and Animal Equality UK. 15 MPs signed the letter, including Henry Smith and Caroline Lucas.

The letter was led by the Humane League UK, the RSPCA and the Conservative Animal Foundation as part of Beatrice’s campaign to ban cages for hens. Recently, the government’s animal welfare efforts have been mixed. Boris Johnson rolled back plans to ban fur and foie gras, but also passed the Animal Sentience Bill and introduced a ban on glue traps.

The EU plans to ban all cages in farming by 2027, but the UK government’s inaction is frustrating the public as the country falls behind the EU, which has proven how well-being animal is on the country’s priority list despite their making promises.

Cordelia Britton, Head of Programs at the Humane League UK, said: “This government has taken over a series of progressive animal welfare policies and promised not to be left behind by the EU. The EU is working on a cage ban – meanwhile, our government pledged to ‘review’ the issue a year ago, and has done nothing since. Caged hens and the concerned public need something concrete – the government must announce a consultation on this or risk betraying their trust.

Laying hens are one of the most systematically abused animals in the world. They are confined in small cages for their entire short lives and are subjected to immense psychological and physical damage. Sign this petition to demand that chickens locked in cages cannot be labeled as cageless! And while you’re at it, sign this petition to help end abuse in the poultry industry.

Learn more about egg and chicken processing on One Green Planet:

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