On October 18 2021, SAFE published an open letter in the Dominion Post to the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Damien O'Connor, calling for a ban on colony cages. Over 250 New Zealand Veterinary Professionals have signed the letter, confirming to the Minister that colony cages do not meet the welfare needs of hens and are in breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
The Act requires that animals have the opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour. In natural conditions, a hen will spend most of her day foraging for food, dustbathing, basking in the sun and exploring her natural environment. This is impossible for hens trapped in colony cages. Veterinary Professionals are supporting SAFE in urging the Government to uphold the Act and free hens from cages.