Photo: Michael Bernard/For HSI
Can you imagine spending nearly your entire life standing on painful wire flooring without room to stretch out or even take more than a few steps? This nightmare is a reality for most hens in Canadian egg farms.
Due to consumer demand, in 2017 the Canadian egg industry publicly committed to phasing out battery cages by 2036. But instead of going cage-free, many farms are switching to only slightly larger “enriched cages.” Enriched cages are the egg industry’s pitiful attempt to respond to consumer concerns while continuing to put profit above animals’ well-being.
Enriched Cages Are Not What Canadians Asked For
Enriched cages provide a few extra inches of floor space and some added features, but they still doom hens to lives of extreme confinement on painful wire floors. Running, jumping, stretching, foraging, dustbathing, and wing spreading remain nearly impossible. Enriched or not, a cage is still a cage.
The Canadian egg industry is quickly falling behind in ending some of the cruelest farming practices for hens. While Canada continues to invest in new cages for hens, entire countries (and many U.S. states) have outlawed them altogether.
It’s important to note that hens at cage-free farms typically live in crowded sheds. They suffer greatly but don’t endure some of the cruelest farming practices. For example, hens in cage-free farms don’t stand on wire flooring and have space to move around and stretch their wings.
Eliminating cages is the least the Canadian egg industry can do for these sensitive, curious birds. That’s why we must prevent enriched cages—and any cage—from becoming the norm in Canada.
Join the Movement to End the Cage Age in Canada
Now is a critical opportunity to stop the Canadian egg industry from producing new cages of any size. Sign the petition calling on Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council to ban all cages for hens.
*Want to do more? The best thing we can do for hens and all animals is to choose more plant-based foods. You can also sign up to volunteer for Mercy For Animals and become a Hen Hero today!