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Because of caring Kiwis like you – all major supermarkets have pledged to ditch cage eggs

That’s right! After an overwhelming number of New Zealander’s made it clear that they do not support the cruel and unnecessary caging of hens, Aotearoa’s leading supermarkets responded to customer demand by announcing they would remove cage eggs from their shelves.  

Countdown supermarkets will remove cage eggs by 2024 in their North Island stores, and by 2025 for their stores in the South Island. In a major win, Countdown also committed to removing cage egg ingredients by 2024 from its own brand products New World and Pak’nSave have pledged to remove cage eggs from their shelves by 2027.  

Supermarkets purchase over 60 percent of eggs produced in New Zealand annually. They  play a key role in influencing the New Zealand egg industry’s shift away from investing further in cruel caged farming systems. While we haven’t reached the finish line yet, it’s important for Kiwis to understand the impact and progress that can be made when we demand change for hens together. A future where all hens are free from cages in New Zealand is possible – so let’s empty the cages for good!  

Join thousands of Kiwis demanding a ban on the caging of all hens in Aotearoa 

Sign the petition! Let’s empty the cages for good

Your actions can make a huge difference for the millions of hens living in cramped, unnatural conditions on intensive farms. Take action now to free hens from cages in New Zealand. Read the petition details below.

Petition to demand a ban on the caging of hens in New Zealand

We, the undersigned, call on the Minister of Agriculture Hon Damien O’Connor to ban all caged hen farming in New Zealand. We speak for the majority of Kiwis who want to see a kinder future for animals in Aotearoa.

New Zealand’s reputation as a country with high animal welfare standards is at risk when such cruel, antiquated farming systems continue to operate here. The time has come to practice what we preach and extend our kindness to hens by banning all cages.

Why is the banning of cages important?

All animals deserve a life worth living, and hens are no exception. Confining hens in colony cages is not only cruel but completely unnecessary.

Hens are intelligent, curious and socially complex birds, and like all animals, they have the need to display natural behaviours. In an outdoor environment, a hen will spend her days scratching at the earth, foraging for food, dust bathing, stretching her wings and basking in the sun.  In New Zealand, over 1.2 million hens are not afforded these basic freedoms because they are intensively farmed in colony cages.

Battery cages will be illegal in Aotearoa by 31 December 2022.

Shockingly, colony cages will remain legal.

With up to 80 hens in each cage, colony cages are severely overcrowded. Each hen only has space about the size of an A4 piece of paper in which to live out her life. With so little room, hens can’t stretch their wings, move around freely, express normal hen behaviours or comfortably rest. These birds deserve a life worth living, yet the Government allows the egg industry to deny hens some of their most basic behavioural needs.

New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act 1999 requires that the physical health and behavioural needs of animals be met ‒ colony cages do not allow for this. Prolonged confinement, overcrowded conditions and inability to display normal behaviours contravenes the Act. On 13 November 2020, our High Court outlawed the confinement of mother pigs in farrowing crates on these exact same grounds.

Around the world, hens are being spared from a lifetime in cages by progressive politicians, yet hens in Aotearoa continue to suffer.

Colony cages are either already banned or are being actively phased out in parts of Europe, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Walloon Region of Belgium. In the USA, nine states have already banned the sale and production of cage eggs.

In June of 2021, the EU Commission announced plans to ban the caging of farmed animals by 2027. A move that will free over 300 million animals from cages across the EU.

It’s time for our politicians to put the chicken before the egg and make the unacceptable practice of caging hens in New Zealand illegal.  

This petition will be delivered to the New Zealand Parliament in 2022

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As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.