Update on Hen Code of Welfare

Update on Hen Code of Welfare

We are still waiting, a year later, for the Minister of Agriculture to announce a new Code of Welfare to Hens.

I predict that he will ignore the vast majority of submitters who called for an end to the cruel practice of keeping hens in cages, and will instead approve a new code that says hens can be kept indefinitely in ‘colony’ cages –cages that sound a bit better than a battery hen cage, but which still give a hen around the size of an A-4 sheet of paper in usable space.

I’m not quite sure why, but I was invited by the Poultry Association to visit Mainland Poultry in Dunedin, and to view colony cages at first hand. Perhaps they imagined I would think they were better than battery hen cages, and give them the green light.

Instead I was horrified, and so was Hans Kriek from SAFE who was also allowed in to see them.

They may have been put off by our reaction to them, because they have not allowed any members of the media in to view the colony cages. They have turned down literally dozens of media requests. I suspect the government realises that if footage of hens kept in colony cages was shown on television, people would quickly realise they are little better than a battery hen cage, and would be utterly opposed to them.


Sue Kedgley