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HSI Canada Calls for End of Laying Hen Cages

World Poultry, February 16, 2012
http://www.worldpoultry.net/news/hsi-canada-calls-for-end-of-laying-hen-cages-10000.html

Humane Society International/Canada calls for a phase out of battery cages following the announcement by the National Farm Animal Care Council to update the Code of Practice for egg laying hens, a code which was last updated in 2003.

The update comes at the request of the Egg Farmers of Canada, as per NFACC protocols, which stipulate that an industry must request an update to their Code of Practice in order for a review to take place.

"HSI Canada welcomes the initiative by Egg Farmers of Canada to update their code of practice. We're hopeful that this update will usher in much higher welfare standards for the millions of laying hens kept across the country," said Sayara Thurston, campaigner with HSI Canada.

HSI Canada is encouraged that this review will spell the beginning of the end of current industry practices, which pose major concerns to animal welfare.

The most severe of these practices is the intensive confinement of more than 95% of Canada's 26 million egg laying hens in barren battery cages. The Code of Practice update is a two year process, which includes a 60 day public comment period once the first draft of the new code is published. A phase out of the use of barren battery cages would bring Canada in line with numerous other countries who have taken similar steps to end the use of intensive confinement for laying hens.

The European Union outlawed the use of conventional battery cages in January and in the United States, federal legislation to end the use of battery cages in all states was recently presented to Congress. Additionally, New Zealand's Parliament is currently working on legislation to ban the use of battery cages.

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