Council says ‘No’ to cruel mega factory farm

SAFE is delighted that 310,000 hens have been saved from a life of misery following the decline of a proposal to build a huge caged hen factory farm south of Auckland.

Auckland Council decided to refuse Craddocks Farm permission to build the colony cage egg facility, which would have been the largest colony cage farm in the country, producing 10% of New Zealand’s egg supply.

“It is clear that communities do not want these horror factory farms,” says executive director Hans Kriek, “it goes against everything New Zealand stands for and it is fantastic that this facility will not be allowed to go ahead. Hens will now be spared a life crammed in a cage. Any future applications will again be vigorously opposed by SAFE.”

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. 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 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 bringing in colony cages at a time when other 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. 

SAFE joined Stop Craddocks Farms and locals in a protest, outside a recent council hearing.

SAFE is determined to see colony cages stopped completely before they become established.

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13 January 2015