In 2017, the Canadian egg industry publicly committed to phasing out conventional “battery” cages by 2036. But instead of going cage-free, many farms and egg companies are switching to slightly larger “enriched” cages. One of these companies, Burnbrae Farms—Canada’s largest egg supplier—claims to value animal welfare and transparency, but it continues to invest in cruel cage confinement. Day after day, hens in Burnbrae’s operations suffer tremendously in cramped enriched cages.
What Is an Enriched Cage?
Enriched cages are also called “furnished cages” or “enriched colony housing.” They provide a few extra inches of floor space and some added features compared with traditional battery cages, but they still doom hens to lives of extreme confinement. The cages’ wire floors cause foot pain and injuries. Running, jumping, fully stretching, foraging, dustbathing, and wing spreading remain nearly impossible. Enriched or not, a cage is still a cage.
Is Burnbrae Farms Hiding Something?
Burnbrae claims to value transparency. Yet the company has not disclosed how many animals it forces to live in such agonizing conditions. Burnbrae’s packaging also fails to show the truth about where its eggs come from. The company’s Naturegg Nestlaid labels feature images of green open-air pastures and happy cartoon eggs. In reality, its Nestlaid line is sourced from hens forced to live in cruel enriched cages. Their lives are far from happy.
Burnbrae Could Spare Millions of Animals a Life of Extreme Confinement
While Canada continues to invest in enriched cages for hens, entire countries (and many U.S. states) have outlawed cages altogether. As Canada’s biggest egg producer, Burnbrae Farms has great influence over the industry, and it could have a big impact.
Of course, cage-free doesn’t mean cruelty-free. Hens at cage-free farms typically live in crowded sheds. They suffer greatly but are spared many of the cruelest farming practices that caged hens endure. Hens in cage-free farms don’t stand on wire flooring, and they have space to move around and fully stretch their wings. Burnbrae Farms has the resources and responsibility to commit to no more cages. It’s the least the company can do.
How You Can Help
Hens need all of us to come together and speak up for them! Take action now, and ask Canada’s biggest egg producer to be transparent and stop investing in cages.