News: 17 November 2014

Proposed caged chicken farm ‘backward step’

The Royal New Zealand SPCA strongly opposes the proposed Craddock Farms colony cage chicken farm in Patumahoe, South Auckland and calls on Auckland Council to refuse resource consent.

The proposed farm would confine 310,000 layer hens in colony cages. Like SPCAs in the UK, US, and Australia, the RNZSPCA opposes the use of battery and colony cages for hens.

“Colony cages confine each bird into a area about the size of a piece of A4 paper, which means it can’t exhibit its normal behaviours and can’t do much except eat and lay eggs,” says Ric Odom, RNZSPCA CEO.

“We believe the establishment of this farm is a backward step that flies in the face of current trends towards improved animal welfare in the commercial farming of animals.

“The RNZSPCA supports an increasing number of free range layer and broiler chicken farms in New Zealand with our SPCA Blue Tick accreditation programme. Farms that win the right to display our SPCA Blue Tick are assessed by our third party auditors AsureQuality, including spot checks to ensure that they are meeting our high animal welfare standards.

“The proposed Craddock Farms colony cage facility in Patumahoe would not meet these standards because the 310,000 chickens at the farm would be confined in cages.”

For more information please contact:

Ric Odom
Chief Executive Officer
Royal New Zealand SPCA

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