News Blog Articles Caged hen campaign takes flight – Countdown to be targeted with plane

Caged hen campaign takes flight – Countdown to be targeted with plane

June 1st, 2016

The opening of Countdown’s new flagship Ponsonby store on June 2 will see animal advocacy organisation SAFE in the air and on the ground, taking bold action on behalf of New Zealand hens: ramping up the consumer campaign for Countdown to phase out cage eggs.


SAFE says Countdown is ignoring their customers’ pleas. Countdown’s Facebook page has had daily complaints from concerned Kiwis asking them to stop selling cruel cage eggs for the past few months. In response to their inaction, at 8am tomorrow, SAFE will fly a plane with a message for Countdown above the new Auckland shop, along with a six-metre long mobile billboard on the ground, and as well, concerned customers will rally outside the store.


“Shoppers are genuinely disgusted with the cruel caging of hens. While Countdown crows about opening day specials, the hens are paying a dreadful price,” says Mandy Carter, Head of Campaigns. “Countdown is failing to listen to their customers. Their parent company, Woolworths in Australia, pledged back in 2013 to drop cage eggs and the simple fact is that New Zealand caged hens do not suffer any less than Aussie hens. There is a worldwide movement against cruelly caging hens and Countdown must move with the times.”


Last week supermarket giant ALDI in Australia also announced they are going cage-free. In New Zealand, Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s have all pledged to go, or have gone, cage-free.


Whilst battery cages will be illegal in New Zealand from 2022, hens in the new colony cages spend their lives crammed inside a wire cage with barely more space than an A4 piece of paper per bird. They cannot fulfil their natural instinct to scratch for food, dust-bathe or build a nest, and have to stand on a sloping, mesh floor. A 2014 poll showed that 72% of Kiwis agree that colony cages are not acceptable. In New Zealand, there are approximately three million layer hens in cages and Countdown sells millions of their eggs each year.


“It is time for Countdown to join the growing number of businesses recognising that cruelty is bad for business. It may be a new store, but, until they go cage-free they are just peddling the same old cruelty,” says Ms Carter.


Countdown customers can express their concerns about cage eggs at cage free countdown



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