Ending the caging of hens globally

The writing is on the wall for the cage egg industry. We know it, you know it.

Now it’s time for retailers and businesses to realise a move to cage-free is inevitable.

SAFE’s been working hard to get hens out of cages with our Countdown campaign and we’re very pleased to be one of over thirty international animal protection organisations forming the Open Wing Alliance (OWA). Initiated by The Humane League, OWA members have joined forces in the global revolution to free egg-laying hens from cages. OWA organisations, including SAFE, recently convened for an international summit in Europe to discuss global targets. The great news for hens is that organisations from as far apart as Africa to Asia; from Europe to Australasia are all working, together, to end cage cruelty.  AND – we’ve just had another victory with General Mills going cage-free globally.

Working together with the public, the OWA has already achieved the following companies committing to cage-free policies: Sodexo; Aldi; Lidl; Elior Group; Compass; AccorHotels; InterContinental Hotels Group; Carrefour (France) and Intermarché (France). More recently SAFE supporters were part of the success in getting General Mills, one of the world’s largest food manufacturers and consumer packaged goods companies, to go cage-free globally by 2025, affecting over 100 brands. These victories mean that millions of hens will not have to suffer a life of confinement in a cage, once these commitments come into force. More good news is that the use of colony cages, (also called ‘enriched’ cages) is also being phased out around the world, which strengthens the case for these cruel cages not to be installed in New Zealand and elsewhere.

“I have no doubt that the caging of hens will be bought to an end,” says head of campaigns, Mandy Carter. “I’ve been heartened to see the change globally and it’s because of kind people taking a stand for animals. Together, the Open Wing Alliance, and the caring public, will see this cruelty stop altogether.”

Supermarkets are the main purchaser of cage eggs in New Zealand. Australian corporate giant Woolworths owns NZ’s biggest supermarket Countdown. While Woolworths has listened to their Aussie customers and committed to being cage-free by 2025, they are turning a deaf ear to caring Kiwis who want an end to all cage eggs in Countdown stores.  


Take action

  • Contact Countdown. Tell them that cage-free for their own brand eggs is a step in the right direction, but still leaves hundreds of thousands of hens to suffer in cages. Ask Countdown to commit to a date for stopping the sale of ALL cage eggs.
  • Watch a video from SAFE about General Mills.

17 March 2017