This Size 7 pair of shoes occupies a floor space that is identical in size to the space allowance of a laying hen in a battery cage, namely: 450 sq cm.
When we put on our shoes in the morning, let us be reminded on a daily basis that if we eat eggs, we should buy only certified free range eggs.
By doing so we set another hen free from torment. Or we can eliminate eggs from our diet altogether.
OPEN LETTER TO:
Mr Luyanda Mahlanza
Project Leader for the development of Standards in Agriculture
South African Bureau of Standards
24th August 2019
Re: For the next 20 years, South Africa’s laying hens will remain confined in a space allowance of 450 sq cm per hen!
Dear Mr Mahlanza,
It is with deep dismay that we learn that the SA Bureau of Standards is instrumental in the passing of a resolution that will confine the nation’s 25 million laying hens to a space allowance, per hen, of just 450 sq cm - right up until 1 January 2039. I refer to SA National Standards No 1758.
It is of no comfort whatsoever that in terms of the resolution, the installation of new cages, as from this year, must make provision for a miniscule extra bit of space per hen – from from 450 sq cm to 550 sq cm. What is deeply disturbing is that the resolution was adopted despite volumes of scientific evidence confirming the immense cruelty that goes hand in hand with the battery cage system for laying hens. In this regard, we refer to the following extracts from recent issues of Poultry Bulletin, the South African Poultry Association’s own mouthpiece:
Poultry Bulletin: March 2017, volume 6, issue 03
Poultry Bulletin: April 2017, volume 6, issue 04
Poultry Bulletin: March 2018, volume 7, issue 03
In a two-part series titled the the Cage Free Revolution, egg farmers are advised to make the move to cage-free as “no amount of improved management can compensate for the welfare issues inherent in the (battery cage) system.”
Other quotes from the two-part series include:
“Scientific research has demonstrated that conventional cage systems deny birds the opportunity to exhibit a number of key behaviours which are fundamental to their welfare, resulting in increased levels of frustration, pain and stress. These important behaviours include the opportunity to build a nest, preen, stretch and flap their wings, perch and dust-bathe.”
“Hen welfare is rapidly becoming a ‘horizon issue’ for South African producers – an issue which could have profound consequences for producers if we do not recognise it, evaluate it and respond to it, effectively, in time. The speed with which major US and UK corporations have announced their commitment to cage-free production has demonstrated how quickly a shift can be imposed on an industry that has not paid enough attention to the external landscape.”