Infomercial star says new colony eggs not all they are cracked up to beNovember 23rd, 2016
Suzanne Paul, well known entrepreneur, TV personality and presenter, has joined with animal advocacy organisation SAFE to produce a spoof video explaining New Zealand’s new colony cage system for layer hens. Using her natural humour and personality she shows what life is like for hens in the colony cages.
Named ‘Woman with the most integrity’ by Metro magazine in 2006, Suzanne has always had high standards when promoting products, and wishes the egg industry had the same.
“I was absolutely appalled by these new cages for hens. I really thought we were better than this! I know that caring New Zealanders will feel as disgusted as me and oppose this cruel new system,” says Suzanne.
Conventional battery cages are being phased out from New Zealand by 2022 but in their place the egg industry is bringing in the new ‘colony’ cage system. SAFE says it is very concerned that the public is being duped, with the egg industry reluctant even to label the system with the word ‘cage’.
“It is all spin, a lie, a con job. The egg industry knows that ethical concerns are playing an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions and producers have responded to this by adding an abundance of confusing claims on egg cartons. Even on their own website you will find little reference to cages,” says head of campaigns Mandy Carter.
“When the egg industry uses phrases like ‘colony laid’ or ‘colony eggs’ it is attempting to dupe people into thinking the hens are not even in cages. But anyone who looks at a photo of a battery cage side by side with a colony cage could see little difference at all. Hens in colony cages have the same life of horror as a battery hen, and the public is simply not going to fall for it,” says Ms Carter.
The satirical video features Suzanne, in a colourful egg-themed outfit, extolling the virtues of the new, upgraded ‘colony apartment systems’ for hens. Using footage from inside some of the first colony cage systems in New Zealand it allows consumers to make up their own mind whether these new cages are acceptable or not.
Earlier this year the public were shocked to see footage from a facility containing the new colony battery cages that showed hens trapped and dying.
SAFE is working to raise public awareness of what the colony cage systems entail, and to help the millions of caged hens in New Zealand from being condemned to a life in a system already banned in parts of Europe. SAFE is also campaigning to get Countdown supermarkets to follow their Australian owners and stop selling caged eggs.
Countdown is owned by Woolworths Australia, who committed to stop selling cage eggs there by 2018. SAFE is asking Countdown to do the same in New Zealand. The company has received thousands of messages and comments on social media from concerned Kiwis asking them not to stock eggs from caged hens.