SAFE kicks up a stink over bad eggs

SAFE, activists from Stop Craddock Farms and Patumahoe locals joined forces to oppose the proposed building of a caged-hen farm in South Auckland. Craddock Farms applied to build the factory farm two years ago, but has been denied permission on the grounds of odour, which would be offensive to the locals. The battle returned to the courts on Thursday 26 November, when a hearing was scheduled at the Environment Court for Craddock Farms’ appeal.

The plans are to keep 310,000 hens in cages, making this one of the largest factory farms in the country. “It makes no sense to be building a colony-cage farm when other countries are already in the process of moving away from these cruel cages,” says Abi Izzard, campaigns officer. “They are one of the worst forms of cruelty.”

The hope is that the Environment Court will listen to the needs of the local community and animals, and put the hens’ welfare before corporate profit.

Colony cages are difficult to distinguish from conventional battery cages, bar a few cosmetic changes such as perches and a nesting area, and there are not enough of either to cater for the number of hens housed in each cage. The additional space allowance is marginal and the cages still fail to adequately meet the birds’ welfare needs. Each hen on this farm would have only slightly more living space than an A4 sheet of paper.

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26 November 2015