Freeing hens from cages around the world

Odene Amy

  • 18 th August
    12:50 - 13:35

Across the globe, billions of laying hens are confined to cages. Over 5 billion hens, laying over 1 trillion eggs every single year. In regions such as the US and within the EU, cage-free is becoming the norm. Key players across all food sectors have committed to going cage-free with over 500 commitments across North America and over 750 within Europe.

Huge global campaigns have led to big names making cage-free commitments such as Walmart, McDonald’s and Nestle who are enforcing these commitments across their global supply with McDonald’s currently reporting 42% cage-free in the US. But to eradicate cages for hens, this kind of progress is going to need to be seen globally.

Asia currently produces over 60% of the global egg supply, with Africa, and it’s growing economies, being another important area to consider. There are two tactics being taken to drive the change to higher welfare systems in these regions: firstly, using global company commitments that span key regions which can trigger movement towards cage-free systems within specific countries and in country company commitments attained through corporate campaigns on the ground.  

There are challenges socially, politically and culturally, however we have seen from the progress made in both the US where consumers were less sympathetic to the farmed animal cause and companies said it couldn’t be done, to the EU where significant economic investment was made into enriched cages only for them to become obsolete with these new commitments coming into fruition, that many challenges that could halt progress, can be overcome. The Open Wing Alliance is growing year on year and grants are being given to empower organisations in these regions to be able to tackle companies and free every hen from her cage.  

And there’s another phase in eradicating cages – legislation. These company commitments have paved the way for animal organisations to start legislative work such as the successful Proposition 12 in the US and the ongoing European Citizens Initiative, all contributing to ending cages at a legislative level.

Through global strategy and collaboration, we will continue to make great progress on both a corporate and legislative level across the globe, to finally end the practice of caging hens for good.

When: Sunday, 18 August, 2019, 12:50–13:35, Room: A.3

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