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It's Time to Ban the Battery Cage

The cruelty endured by Australia's 12 million battery hens knows no bounds. Denied sunshine, fresh air and freedom, they are treated like production units rather than living beings, crammed into barren cages with up to four other birds. These intelligent and social hens suffer painful leg injuries and have no quality of life, imprisoned for the sole purpose of producing eggs for human consumption.

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For the millions of hens confined in battery cages unable even to spread their wings, 2010 should have been a year of hope.

The 'Code of Practice' that permits this cruelty was meant to be scheduled for government review, which would very likely have led to a decision to phase out the battery cage. Despite a written commitment by government in the current Code to review it in 2010, no review has happened then or since.

Australia is already behind EU developments where the barren battery cage was banned from the beginning of 2012. The EU decision was based on comprehensive scientific evidence that presented an indisputable argument that the battery cage should be banned. A recent national survey showed that 86% of Australians believe that the battery cage is cruel.

As the Australian government will inevitably give producers a phase out time it is crucial that the Standing Council on Primary Industries prioritises a review of the poultry code so that battery cages will be banned as soon as possible.

Hens need your help to call on the Standing Council on Primary Industries to schedule a review of the Poultry Code as soon as possible, and importantly, to announce a ban on the battery cage.

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