This article is from The Biscuit magazine.
At a young age I started my life living in a large shed in a barren battery cage with other hens all around me, it was noisy ALL OF THE TIME. My feet hurt on the wire cage, every day I’d lay an egg, they would roll away into a tray and be gathered by these strange 2 legged beings. Where did all my eggs go!? Every day, the same thing! End the battery cage.
How long would I be in this place? I’ve always felt an overwhelming urge to scratch in a dust bath … to move around … play tag with my hen friends in a wide open space. I just really want to properly stretch my wings … legs … ANYTHING… Instead my reality is a cramped space filled with feathers, itches I can’t scratch, and the smell of poop.
It feels like I’ve been here forever, but I think it’s only been just over a year? But how does a hen count the days, when every miserable day is exactly the same? Today however, is different - there is a big scuffle going on with lots of hens being taken away from the cages opposite me. Here they come, headed towards us too… Are they going to take us to greener pastures to finally flap about and be free like those I was born with, and will I find out where all my eggs have gone?
My dreams of being truly free were shattered, we were piled into a truck in crates… it was hot and the road was just as noisy as the shed! I won’t go into the details, but we were all off to slaughter, not the greener pastures I was thinking of.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Every animal deserves a good life and a humane death. Can you be my voice and help hens get out of cages for good?
Right now you have the chance to voice your concerns about the proposed Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Poultry, hens like me, Dot, may never have to see a cage again! Squawk today and #endthebatterycage.
Recently, footage was shared by ABC’s 7:30 showing the inhumane slaughter process of layer hens in a Victorian Abattoir. The new Standards and Guidelines covers slaughter practises too. Stronger standards and guidelines and better enforcement by authorities needs to be paramount to ensure abhorrent acts like this and blatant disregard for life does not happen again.
The footage shows an overwhelming failure of industry standards to protect the welfare of poultry. The RSPCA believes all abattoirs should be equipped with CCTV monitoring, employ a dedicated animal welfare officer, and face regular independent scheduled and unscheduled animal welfare audits.