The facts about battery cages
Are you a member of our latest supporter campaign?
We launched our campaign to stop the battery cage less than two months ago.
Thousands of you have joined us to encourage egg producers to stop using battery cages.
Due to your efforts, certain battery cage manufacturers are actively blocking emails.
Some companies don’t want to receive your emails because they are worried about your opinions and lack answers.
If you’ve received a bounce-back to your messages, the cruel ways that battery cages can be. The egg industry continues to use the same (and wrong) excuses.
If you’re looking for more information and answers to these arguments, we have all the facts here.
Cage-free eggs are not much more expensive.
You will only pay $22 per year for cage-free eggs. Many brands of cage-free goods are cheaper than products made from battery-caged eggs.
* Cage-free eggs are just as safe
Food safety is most affected by storage and handling, not production.
Many scientific studies have shown that confining hens in battery cages increases the risk of salmonella.
* Cage-free eggs are just as nutritious
The nutritional value of caged and cage-free eggs is the same (although some people prefer cage-free).
* Battery cages are not necessary to reduce mortality
We don’t have to deny hens their normal movements and behaviors to reduce mortality.
Some housing systems allow hens the freedom to behave as they would in a normal environment. This results in a lower death rate than battery cages.
In cage-free systems, hens can live a happy and healthy life without suffering the frustrations of battery cages.
* Battery cages can cause frustration and stress
Hens kept in battery cages are stressed and frustrated because they can’t perform natural behaviors like walking, nesting, and perching. They also have difficulty stretching their wings and scratching the floor.
In battery cages, hens are unable to perform their natural behaviors, such as nesting, perching, dust bathing, and foraging, because they have a strong instinctive urge.
* Battery cages are not necessary to control disease
Reduced risk of disease doesn’t mean hens can’t behave normally. While hens can still behave normally, other housing systems maintain a low disease risk.
Because they are kept in cages that are raised off the ground and because they don’t interact with other hens very often, there is a reduced risk.
Hens kept in battery cages suffer from high levels of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and a fatal condition of fatty liver caused by stress and lack of movement.
* Battery cages are not necessary to stop cannibalism and pecking
Cannibalism and feather pecking are dangerous risks for all housing systems. This includes battery cages where hens live in close quarters.
No evidence exists that cage-free hens peck more feathers than caged hens. Locking hens into small cages only limits their interaction with other hens.
Battery cages are so cruel that we can’t justify locking the hens inside to reduce the risk of feather plucking. While allowing the hens to act normally, other housing systems still maintain a low risk of feather plucking.
* Battery cages are not necessary to protect hens against predators
Many examples exist of cage-free systems that are both indoors and outdoors, which provide adequate protection against predators.
It is not acceptable to confine hens in barren cages their entire lives under the pretext of protecting them against predators.
The use of battery cages has no advantages over other housing systems that meet the needs and requirements of hens.
The use of larger, “furnished” cages in other countries has some advantages. Our industry, however, has decided to continue using the small, barren cells that cause layer hens chronic pain.
Battery cages cannot meet the needs of hens. The science is unanimous that battery cages do not make sense from the point of view of welfare.
What eggs SHOULD I buy?
Many of our supporters who do not wish to purchase egg brands that also use battery cages ask us what brands they should buy.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just telling you what brands to avoid.
We, as Australia’s leading organization for animal welfare, cannot recommend a brand until we are certain it is a cage-free, well-run system.