Dear Member,

I am writing to you today to ask you to call on our state agriculture minister to support a ban on the use of battery cages for egg laying hens in the new national Standards and Guidelines for Poultry. The Independent Panel on Poultry Welfare has recommended phasing out battery cages for layer hens between 2032 and 2036 in Australia, a move which is also supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.

Battery cages prevent hens from carrying out their natural behaviours, such as nesting and foraging - and do not even provide enough room to stretch their wings. Each hen is only afforded a space no bigger than a standard iPad for their entire lives.

Battery cages have already been phased out, or are in the process of doing so, in 75% of OECD nations - these include the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, several states in the U.S., to name but a few. Yet Australia lags behind.

More consumers and retailers want to see an end to this cruel farming method than ever before, with the retail market share for battery cage eggs dropping from 75% to less than 30% in value in the last 15 years.

A life of such extreme confinement leads to a number of serious health problems for the hens, including brittle bones and fractures as well as higher rates of disease. I am appalled that battery cages are still in use across Australia and call on you to support a phase out and encourage our state agriculture minister to agree to a national phase out of battery cages for layer hens as soon as possible. I would like to see a phase out sooner than the 10-15 years proposed because Australia is already so far behind when compared to other OECD countries.

 

Kind regards,

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