Monday, February 20, 2012

Eggsactly!

A win for UK chickens

Twenty four million chickens in the UK will be grateful. Although caged egg farming has not been phased out, the new types of cages which give the chickens more room, straw to scratch in, a nest box, a perch and a higher roof, should certainly allow them to lead more normal lives. The UK was among fourteen other countries which refused to follow a UN directive. The UN is now pursuing the other 13-Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

There's good news from the US too, where other big chains such as Subway (we have them in Oz too) are starting to follow the example set by Mc Donald's
Related Stories
Krispy Kreme Switching To Cage-Free Eggs
Subway To Phase In Cage-Free Eggs: Victory For Hens Everywhere

According to a recent Australian article in The Age, caged hens produce 20% less carbon  because hens allowed to wander freely require more feed to produce a kilogram of eggs than their confined cousins.This information came from The Australian Egg Corporation after it joined with the government to assess the carbon footprint of egg production.
This however, does not take into account the other environmental impacts and health risks involved in this form of egg production such as the "impact on watersheds and the dead zones"  and the higher incidence of salmonella and antibiotic resistance, or the effects on the hens themselves.

Read more....
Yes, free - range eggs may cost a little more - $1 whole dollar a week in my case, but I think it is well worth it in the interests of treating their producers more humanely and they simply taste better without the guilt.

Coincidentally the Sydney Morning Herald has also had an article about Factory Farming today (20/2/2012) which says that since the passage of the EU directive, Australia is now among the worst offenders in the developed world when it comes to the treatment of commercially raised pigs and chickens.To highlight their plight the Sydney office of  animal welfare group Voiceless is currently conducting a campaign featuring Hugo Weaver in their video clips Check them out on their website or
Click here for ways to help.
Animals Australia  also has an excellent site.

(The lovely chicken picture at the top is from http://www.museumsyndicate.com/images/2/11732.jpg)  Thanks!

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