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Battery hen opponents lay claim to second win


14 June 2006

Battery hen opponents lay claim to second win

Two of New Zealand’s largest battery hen producers have bowed to pressure from animal advocacy organisation SAFE following calls for mandatory labelling of egg cartons, and say they will label their battery eggs. This unexpected announcement is the second victory for battery hens in less than a month. SAFE welcomes the move calling it a “triumphant occasion for consumers and caged hens”.

SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek handed over a 51,438 signature petition calling for mandatory labelling of egg cartons to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Judith Tizard, and Green MP Sue Kedgley at parliament yesterday. The petition complemented Ms Kedgley’s Consumer Right to Know Bill which also calls for mandatory labelling.

“The announcement by Mainland Poultry and Independent Egg Producers to start labelling their battery hen produced eggs is the first positive move by an extremely cruel industry. The move to add ‘Cage Eggs’ to egg cartons is welcomed by SAFE. We have been calling for an end to misleading labels such as ‘Farm Fresh’ for years so assuming the new labelling standards proposed by the industry are genuine, this is a triumphant occasion for consumers and caged hens”, says SAFE’s campaign director, Hans Kriek.

“SAFE however, will continue to press for mandatory egg labelling legislation as other egg producers still confuse and mislead consumers. Eight out of ten New Zealanders oppose battery hen farming and we expect fewer battery eggs will be sold once consumers can clearly identify these eggs”, says Mr Kriek.

Last month, the Regulations Review Committee (RRC) upheld a complaint made by the Animal Rights Legal Advocacy Network (ARLAN), CAFF and SAFE. The RRC ruled that the process taken by the Minister of Agriculture’s animal welfare committee was not appropriate. It has recommended the layer hen code be rewritten to include a phase out of battery hen cages.


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