This is an actual image (with text added) taken from a video by AECL to survey whether people were happy to call a farm that keeps 2 birds per square metre 'free range'. Here's the catch: chickens instinctively fear open spaces with no shelter. So all the birds who are missing from this photo are tightly packed inside a tin shed, too scared to go outside. Click here to find out more.
A fox has been left in charge of the hen house. The Australian Egg Corp (AECL) are trying to exploit consumer compassion at the expense of hens, by allowing more than 10 times the number of hens on 'free range' farms than current guidelines recommend. This would turn 'free range' into just another term for factory farming.
One simple thing could stop this dreadful plan in its tracks: a government review of the 'Code of Practice' for hens to make current 'free range' egg standards enforceable.
For the millions of hens confined in battery cages, unable even to spread their wings, government action is also long overdue. The government was scheduled to review the code in 2010, but they never did — not then, and not since.
In the two years since, Coles has committed to phasing out their home brand of cage eggs; Tasmania has become the first state to pledge to get rid of battery cages; and the European Union has banned the battery cage. Yet hens across the country are still confined in battery cages, with no legislative movement on the horizon AND there is still no legal definition for 'free range' in Australia.
If hens are going to be spared the cruelty of factory farm conditions, they need your voice. Please call on the state Ministers for Agriculture and relevant authorities to review the 'Code of Practice' for hens, ban the battery cage, stop the egg industry sham, and set legally enforceable standards for 'free range'.