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Over 10,000 sign against mega egg farm in Waikato

Over 10,000 sign against mega egg farm in Waikato


A petition to Waikato District Council demanding they decline a proposed mega egg farm has reached over 10,000 signatures.

New Zealand's biggest egg producer, Mainland Poultry, want to build a massive industrial chicken egg laying farm at 64 Old Road, Orini, Waikato.

The proposed mega farm would confine 400,000 egg laying hens to a new indoor production system called “multi-tiered aviaries”. If approved, the mega farm would be the first of its kind established in New Zealand on such a large scale.

Animal advocacy organisation Direct Animal Action, who are running the petition, are concerned about the welfare implications of multi-tiered aviaries.

“Multi-tiered aviaries are simply an adjustment to colony cages. Each building will contain 50,000 hens that will be kept in a stacked arrangement that reaches almost to the ceiling. The hens will have no access to the outdoors,” says spokesperson for Direct Animal Action, Deirdre Sims.

“Overseas, these systems have been described as "high rises" for chickens.”

“Mainland Poultry want to establish multi-tiered aviaries in New Zealand because they can sell these eggs as “cage-free”.”

“All our major supermarkets have now made commitments to phase out the sale of battery and colony cage eggs. Eggs from multi-tiered aviaries, like what Mainland are proposing at Orini, can be sold in supermarkets as a cheaper “cage-free” alternative to free-range.”

“We’re concerned about the establishment of these systems in New Zealand because they haven’t been thoroughly considered by our animal welfare regulators. Overseas, multi-tiered aviaries have been shown to produce significant animal welfare issues including high instances of cannibalism.”

“If Waikato District Council won’t decline Mainland’s application outright, we’re calling on them to make it publicly notified so that all New Zealanders can have their say about what the future of the egg industry looks like in our country,” says Ms. Sims.


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