Right now, roughly 12 million ‘battery’ hens are imprisoned in small wire cages in the Australian egg industry.
The life of a battery hen is unbearable to think about. She will never see sunshine, never feel wind, never dust bathe. She will never walk, stretch, flap, ruffle, or preen. She will never be given enough room to have the ability to simply turn around.
After approximately 18 months of total confinement, they will gas her or pull her out of the cage and take her to a slaughterhouse to be killed.
NSW is the largest producer of caged eggs in Australia, and the majority of eggs produced in Australia still come from battery caged hens.
But it gets even worse - the NSW Minister for Agriculture has indicated that he will not support a ban or phase out of the use of battery cages, despite overwhelming independent scientific evidence and community support against the use of cages.
Clearly the Minister for Agriculture has a hopeless conflict of interest - he has to simultaneously promote animal protection, and the industries that use and abuse animals, like the battery hen industry. And the industry, with its money and powerful lobby groups, seems to always win.
But there is a solution. We need a Minister for Animal Protection who will oversee animal cruelty laws and their enforcement.
Join the call to move the portfolio for animal protection away from the Agriculture Minister, to a Minister for Animal Protection so that action can be taken on issues like the use of battery cages in the egg industry.