Mega Cruelty On The Way
Craddock Farms Limited wants to build one of New Zealand’s largest egg factory farms in Patumahoe, just south of Auckland. The proposed factory farm would keep 310,000 hens in stacked colony cages and produce 10% of New Zealand’s egg supply.
If this new mega factory farm is allowed to go ahead, it will be a huge step backwards for the animals.
In December 2012 the Government released a new welfare code for layer hens that says existing battery cages must be phased out and replaced by colony cages. But colony cages still have the same basic welfare problems associated with farming hens in battery cages.
- Colony cages do not provide the hens with sufficient space. The 600 square centimetres of usable space (still smaller than an A4 sheet of paper) is barely larger than the space the hens have in existing cages. The hens still cannot walk about or stretch their wings easily.
- Hens in colony cages are kept inside small wire cages inside semi-dark sheds. They stand on an uncomfortable sloping wire floor and will never enjoy sunshine, scratching in the dirt or the ability to live as nature intended.
New Zealand is introducing colony cages at a time when other, more enlightened countries are in the process of banning them. Colony cages are already banned in Switzerland and Austria and Belgium are phasing them out and supermarkets in Germany and the Netherlands refuse to sell colony cage eggs. By lagging behind more progressive nations, New Zealand risks its international reputation.
There are a lot of ways you can become involved.
- attend a hearing at the Franklin Art Centre on November 17th where the Hearing Commissioners will consider submissions opposing the proposed farm.
- sign a petition against the farm, which will be sent to the shareholders of Craddock Farms Limited.
- write a Letter to the Editor opposing this new factory farm.
It is important that Craddock Farms Limited knows New Zealanders are against colony cages – without consumer support, this mega factory farm will be a huge financial loss to the company. As consumers, we have immense power. We can use that power to get involved and stop New Zealand’s largest egg factory farm being built.