Although six out of ten of us avoid caged eggs, millions of animals are still kept in appalling conditions, with smaller retailers not switching to free-range eggs
Huddled in the dark and with their beaks cut off, 14 million chickens languish in cages across Britain.
After hearing horror stories about these cruel living conditions, six out of ten of us now buy free range eggs.
Cages put a lot of strain on hens and thwart their ability to perform innate behaviors such as wing flapping, dust bathing, stretching, foraging, perching and nesting.
Part of their beaks are also removed to prevent them from pecking feathers.
All major retailers and food companies have either stopped selling cage eggs or promised to do so by the end of 2025.
But thousands of smaller retailers, restaurants, takeaways and food manufacturers are still using cage eggs and have no plans to phase them out.
Former Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder has backed a Humane League campaign to ban cages for chickens, likening the conditions to “concentration camps.”
The 59-year-old adopted four cage hens at his Salford home last year: Edna, Mabel, Daisy and Flo. They were saved from slaughter by a charity in Wigan.
Shaun said: “It’s a terrible life. No feathers, totally in shock and kept in the dark for a long time. It is as if they were being held in a Nazi concentration camp.”
He called on the government to “intervene to ensure that chickens no longer suffer their lives in cages”.
Shaun and his wife Joanna said the chickens came to them without feathers but recovered after a few months and “follow them everywhere”.
Animal welfare group The Humane League estimates that between 4.2 million and 8.4 million chickens – 10-20% of the UK total – could still be caged after 2025.
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The EU is aiming to cement laws that would ban cages for chickens, as well as other livestock such as pigs, rabbits, ducks and geese, by 2027.
Cordelia Britton of The Humane League UK said: “This government has come to power through a series of progressive animal welfare measures and has promised not to fall behind the EU. It promised to “investigate” the issue a year ago and has done nothing since.
“Cage chickens and the public concerned need something concrete – the government needs to announce a consultation on this issue or risk betraying their trust.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shocking-14-million-hens-still-27152143 A staggering 14 million chickens still crammed in cages across the UK despite free range egg rotation