New campaign: "Tired of being confined? They are too!"
The slogan “En wanneer mogen zij uit hun kot?” (And when will the lock down end for them?) aims to remind the Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare of his promise to impose a ban on cages for laying hens.
Considering the easing of the quarantine measures in the Belgian region of Flanders, GAIA thinks it is the right time to raise the question of when the lock down will end for laying hens.
Enriched cages are not a suitable solution as it doesn't allow for animals to stretch or shake their wings. Lack of space hinders chickens in exhibiting natural behaviors such as taking a dust bath, scratching, smoothing their feathers and building a nest.
Hens are frustrated and subject to other complications such as stress, aggression, and feather pecking. All these stress factors and behaviors may degenerate into cannibalism or self-harm.
Laying hens are confined to the equivalent of the surface of a single sheet of paper in so-called enriched cages. We must move away from this cruel chicken farming system towards more animal-friendly systems.Michel Vandenbosch, GAIA's president
The European Directive prohibits conventional battery cages in which laying hens are confined to two-thirds of the space of a single A4 sheet of paper. In the EU it is however still allowed to confine chickens to ‘enriched’ cages where the surface area available to one chicken equals to a size of one single sheet of paper.
In Belgium, 60% of the laying hens are still kept in enriched cages. The Walloon region prohibited them in October 2018 and 9 Wallonian farms still keeping laying hens in enriched cages will have to cease their activities by 2028, the latest.
GAIA is taking action now to introduce an identical ban in Flanders. Read more about the campaign and sign the petition here!