Egg-cellent news for Canada's hens
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Egg-cellent news for Canada’s hens

April 25, 2017

The cramped wire battery cages that prevent egg laying hens from spreading their wings for their entire lives are now being phased out, thanks to a new Code of Practice for egg-laying hens in Canada.

The BC SPCA is applauding those who have worked tirelessly to make lives better for animals in Canada – more than half of the comments to the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFAAC) regarding the updated code came from British Columbia.

“We can’t thank people enough for lending their voices to help facilitate change for farm animals,” says Geoff Urton, BC SPCA senior manager, stakeholder relations.

“For so many responses to come from B.C., especially when other provinces have far more people, speaks to the passion British Columbians have for farm animal welfare.”

Speaking together and with one voice has led to a new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens (Egg Code).

“Thanks to your work and the work of animal welfare advocates on the council, barren battery cages that prevent egg-laying hens from spreading their wings or walking around for their entire lives will be phased out in the next 15 years,” Urton says.

“Canadian egg producers will soon need to allow chickens to nest, perch and scratch and have more space to move around.”

The draft NFACC code for egg-laying hens is unprecedented, in that it lays out the most rigorous prescribed standards for egg-laying hens in North America and it’s the first time such detailed requirements have been developed in the history of Canada’s egg industry.

Currently, 90 per cent of Canada’s egg-laying hens live in cramped wire battery cages that prevent them from walking around or spreading their wings for their entire lives. The new code will mean as of 2017, no new barren battery cages will be built in Canada, which is a huge win for Canada’s hens.

The Canadian egg industry has committed to phasing out the majority of barren battery cages within 15 years, with the Code requiring all battery cages be completely phased out by 2036.

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