Feb 13th 2018

Protesters call for battery cage ban

Protesters wearing chicken masks, backed by an 18,000 signature petition, gathered at NSW Parliament today to demand an end to the cruel practice of battery hen farming.

The code of practice that sets standards for how chickens can be treated in Australia is being reviewed for the first time in over fifteen years, and protest organiser Emily Mulligan said the group wanted to draw attention to the NSW Government’s opposition to a battery farming ban in the new code.

“Across Australia million of hens spend their lives in misery, caged without access to sunlight or space to move,” Ms Mulligan said. “But we’re closer than ever to putting a stop to this barbaric practice, with a rare review of the poultry code currently underway.”

“Thousands of Australians are stunned that recommendations put forward by the review do not include banning battery cages, despite clear demands from consumers, opinion polls and reams of scientific research that change is urgently needed.

“Battery farming means hens live in cages their whole lives, never see sunlight, lose their feathers, don’t have enough room for natural behaviours like stretching their wings and have their beaks cut.”

Ms Mulligan said it was time Australia followed the lead of countries such as Canada and New Zealand that have already phased out battery caging.

“The NSW government has been accused of collusion with the egg industry and “systemic corruption”. They’re playing a major blocking role in the review of the Model Code of Practice for Poultry, holding back progress for the rest of the country.

“While states like WA, ACT and Victoria have spoken out or are backing independent science, NSW is blocking this straightforward reform.

“Right now we have the opportunity to follow the lead of countries such as Canada and New Zealand that have already banned battery caging, or lock in another decade of cruelty.”

So far more than 18,000 people have signed a GetUp petition to ban the battery cage, 1500 people have made formal submissions to the Poultry Code Review and 900 people have written to their Premier calling for a ban.

A second protest will be held outside Victorian State Parliament next Tuesday.