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Children to Protest Against Battery Hen Cruelty

Children to Protest Against Battery Hen Cruelty

Carl McManaway Island Bay School

Battery Hens

A group of Wellington primary school children are planning a protest at Parliament on Thursday morning to highlight the plight of battery caged hens. Approximately 60 children will hand over letters addressed to Prime Minister Helen Clark and Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton.

The protest will be at Parliament grounds at 9.30am on Thursday 9th December. The children have designed banners, cages and costumes and will read their letters before handing them over in a giant envelope.

The letters are the end result of the children's expositional writing topic, in which they have learnt to write arguments, persuasive letters, and brochures. Teacher, Mr Carl McManaway said, "After watching a 60 Minutes programme on battery hens, the children decided they wanted to do more for the hens cause than write letters. To this end some children suggested a protest at the Parliament grounds." The children undertook further research of battery hen farming practices and the effects of a new welfare code for layer hens. "It's terrible and I want you to do everything in your power to tell people what happens to these hens," said 11 year old student Fionn Cahill-Fleury in his letter to Minister of Agriculture, Jim Sutton. "If almost any other animal was found being treated like this the owner would be taken to court, fined and maybe even jailed, but hens are different. Why?" he asked the minister.

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"This exercise was initiated by 9 year old student Karl England who after watching the 60 Minutes programme visited a battery farm with his mum and shared his thoughts on what he discovered with his class," teacher Mr Carl McManaway said. "Karl and many of the children felt strongly about the issues and it gave them a real purpose to their writing."

Who: Year 5 and 6 students from Island Bay School (aged 9, 10, 11) What: Presenting battery hen farming letters to Jim Sutton or Helen Clark Where: Parliament grounds When: 9.30-10.30 am, Thursday 9 December

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