Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


RNZSPCA Announces Free Range Guarantee

Royal New Zealand Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals

The campaign against "battery" hen farming takes a major step forward this week.

From tomorrow (Tuesday), caring consumers will be able to look for a Royal New Zealand SPCA logo, when seeking assurance that eggs labelled as "free range" are produced in consistently humane environments and not in the horrific conditions endured by battery hens.

The RNZSPCA's Free Range Egg Accreditation scheme is to be launched in the course of its inaugural "Cage Free Egg Day". To mark the occasion, the SPCA will be delivering a carton of six free range eggs to every Member of Parliament.

A group of MPs drawn from all the parties in Parliament is scheduled to congregate on its steps at 1.15 pm on Tuesday, to receive egg consignments on behalf of their colleagues.

The presentation ceremony will be followed by a series of egg and spoon races, on the grassed area in front of Parliament, with steady-handed parliamentarians vying for line honours with other prominent personalities.

"To be part of our free range accreditation scheme, an egg producer must be willing to accept thorough and regular auditing," says RNZSPCA Chief Executive Peter Blomkamp, adding that the free range scheme will be building on the success of the organisation's existing accreditation scheme for "barn eggs".

"We're confident that consumers will welcome the guarantee provided by our logo. Increasing numbers of New Zealanders are outraged by the obscenity of crowding millions of hens together in wire cages, with no room to exercise, preen or flap their wings.

"Hundreds of thousands of birds suffer from painfully damaged feet and claws as a result of this horrendous production system, whilst the de-beaking inflicted on battery hens can cause life-long pain," he says. Mr Blomkamp defines barn eggs as laid by hens who are allowed to move around and have room to dust-bathe, perch, stretch and nest. Free range hens, he says, have all these advantages and, in addition, are allowed to roam outdoors. The generic term "cage free" is used by the SPCA to describe both free range and barn eggs.

"A key feature of our scheme is that it's not open to producers who run a mixture of cage free and battery hens. We want to make sure that our logo isn't exploited by battery producers who just run a small number of cage free birds as a marketing ploy," says Mr Blomkamp.

"By choosing cage free eggs, compassionate New Zealanders are joining millions of others across the globe, who are opting for the welfare of hens and against needless suffering," he says, pointing out that successful accreditation schemes now exist in Britain, continental Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States.

For further information or comment, please contact:

Peter Blomkamp Chief Executive Officer RNZSPCA 09 827 6094 025 277 1961


Peter Mason President RNZSPCA 04 389 4609 025 461 680

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages