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Celebrities, Animal Welfare Charities, and MPs Sign Letter to Demand an End to Cages for Hens

A letter signed and endorsed by celebrities, charities and MPS calls on the UK government for its inaction on banning cages in egg production. Cages are one of the most condemned agricultural practices in the world, but they continue to be used.

Source: Animal Equality UK/Youtube

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

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

“While we applaud the pioneering efforts of retailers to go cage-free, we still estimate that following these commitments, 8 million hens will be caged throughout their lives. We call on the government to align legislation more closely with political, public and retail sentiment and to start their planned consultation now so we can finally banish laying hens from life behind bars.”

Source: Animal Equality/Youtube

The letter was presented to Defra on the first anniversary of the release of the Government’s Animal Welfare Action Plan. However, the government has made no progress in the year since it pledged to “investigate 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 welfare organizations have also signed, 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 cited by the Humane League UK, RSPCA and the Conservative Animal Foundation as part of Beatrice’s campaign to ban cages for chickens. Recently, government animal welfare efforts have been mixed. Boris Johnson reversed plans to ban fur and foie gras, but also passed the Animal Sentience Bill and introduced a ban on sticky traps.

The EU plans to ban all cages in agriculture by 2027, but the UK government’s inaction is frustrating the public as the country falls behind the EU, which has shown how low animal welfare is on the country’s list of priorities and has made promises .

Cordelia Britton, Program Manager at The Humane League UK, said: “This government seized power over a series of advanced animal welfare policies and pledged not to fall behind the EU. The EU is working towards a ban on cages – meanwhile our government promised to “investigate” the problem a year ago and has done nothing since. Caged chickens and the public concerned need something concrete – the government needs to announce a consultation on this issue or risk betraying their trust.”

Layers are among the most systematically abused animals in the world. They are confined in small cages for their entire short lives and are subjected to immense mental and physical harm. Sign this petition to demand that caged chickens cannot be marked cage-free! And while you’re at it, sign this petition to stop abuse in the poultry industry.

Read more about treating eggs and chickens on One Green Planet:

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