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Campaign Against Factory Farming Continues

March 10 2005

Campaign Against Factory Farming Continues Despite Law Change

Kapiti Poultry farm in Paraparaumu will be the subject of a demonstration this Saturday March 12 at 12.30pm.

When The Layer Hen Welfare Code was reviewed recently, Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton, ignored independent scientific evidence that proves hens suffer physically and mentally. Instead he sneaked in regulations just before Christmas, allowing the continuation of cruel battery farming, says Campaign Against Factory Farming (CAFF) spokesperson Debra Ashton.

“Mr Sutton believes the science is unclear and yet, he allows about three million hens to live their lives in cramped cages which deny them their natural behaviours.

“They are unable to walk, stretch their wings, peck and scratch, or dust bathe. Their bodies are rubbed raw, due to feather loss from rubbing against the sides of the cage and other birds. Their feet suffer discomfort from standing on wire floors. Their bones become brittle and break due to lack of exercise. Many battery chicks endure the painful procedure of having part of their beaks removed. They are then slaughtered at around 18 months, well short of their 10-15 year lifespan.

“That is no life for a bird.

“We hope local supporters of the ban will join us at the roadside of State Highway One, at the traffic lights just up from Paraparaumu Railway Station to protest against the law. Demonstrators will then head off to The Kapiti Poultry Farm, Valley Road, to express their concerns."
CAFF will also hold an information stall along from the post office around 12.30 for about 1 hour, says Ms Ashton.

“While many people have got behind the campaign by not buying battery eggs at the supermarket, it comes as a surprise to many people that about 92% of eggs produced in this country are still from battery farms. That is because restaurants and food manufacturers commonly use battery eggs in their ingredients.”

“We are encouraging people to ask if poultry or pork products are free range, before ordering. We also suggest people read food labels more carefully. Eggs branded with misleading labelling such as 'farm fresh', 'vegetarian egg' and 'hen house' are all produced in cruel battery cages"

CAFF is a Wellington based organisation whose aim is to stop cruel factory farming of animals .

Over the past twelve months CAFF has held demonstrations outside The Wellington Egg Company in Judgeford.

They have run education campaigns at shopping centres and supermarkets and are currently consulting with political parties over egg carton labelling.

A 2002 Colmar Brunton survey found that 79% of New Zealanders supported the banning of battery hen farming and that they would be prepared to pay higher prices for their eggs so the hens didn’t have to suffer anymore.

“The European Commission is phasing out battery hen cages, leading to a total ban by 2012. In Switzerland and Sweden cages are already banned. Finland, Austria and Germany have their own timetable for phasing out the practice sooner than required by EC directive.


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