Dear Beagle Editor
I noticed a recent article in the Beagle re Cat Curfew (something that is obviously dear to Clr Mayne’s heart) in an attempt to assist our ‘wildlife’.
This is to be commended.
There is another matter which may stir our council to rise up and speak out and that matter is, again, in relation to animal welfare, in particular, battery cages for laying hens.
Right now, the Australian public is being asked for their views on hens kept in battery cages.
Recently, an industry body produced something called "Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry", for submission to government as the way forward. I have grave concerns that the proposed standards still permit the use of battery cages. This is in the face of a clear indication from the egg-buying public that opposition to this method of egg production is growing.
According to RSPCA Australia, “Hens in battery cages … are deprived of the space and materials they need for nesting, perching, foraging or dustbathing. They cannot walk freely, fully stretch out or flap their wings, fly, hide, or move away from other hens. Denying hens the ability to perform these normal behaviours causes them immense frustration and suffering.”
The European Union decided in 1999 to phase out battery cages, and they have been prohibited there since 2012. New Zealand began phasing out their use in 2012. Canada and some states in the United States are moving towards cage-free production.
Australians like to think of themselves as animal lovers, yet we now trail much of the developed world in maintaining this cruel practice, with some 11 to 12 million hens still kept in barren wire cages. It’s time the industry “got with the program”, responded to community demand and produced eggs in a humane way.
Please be a voice for the animals and lodge your submission by 26th February 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you on behalf of the gentle and very intelligent hens.