Activists took to the London streets in striking costumes, dressed as distressed chickens and rotten eggs on 28 October to protest against the actions of the UK’s leading egg producer.
In a campaign against the farming practices of Noble Foods, farm animal protection group The Humane League UK encouraged supermarket customers to boycott the sale of Big & Fresh eggs.
The protest toured several London supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda, where activists exposed the horror story of caged hens produced by Big & Fresh parent company, Noble Foods
Pru Elliott, The Humane League UK’s Head of Campaigns, said: “Noble Foods’ caging of hens is a real horror show. The company claims that animal welfare is their number one priority, yet it keeps 4.3 million hens in confinement. For hens, life in a cage is no life worth living. Crammed in with up to 80 other birds, they can barely stretch their wings, and will never experience the light of day.”
Noble Foods produces over 60 million eggs a week and has come under criticism for their hypocrisy. While their website states “Animal welfare is at the cornerstone of everything we do,” news of caged misery has led customers to confusion by the mixed messages.
This protest is part of a large-scale campaign which has seen activist cage themselves in supermarket trolleys.
Vicky Bond, The Humane League UK’s Managing Director, said: “For hens, life inside a cage is really no life at all.
“For their entire productive life they are crowded in among their stressed cage mates with little more than an A4 sheet of paper worth of space per bird.”
Results by Big Nasty Eggs show, intense conditions of caged hens in confinement lead to frustration and sometimes death, increased injuries in the form of lesions and broken claws from standing on wire all day and mental anguish.
Mr Elliott added: “Noble Foods has a current policy to go 70% cage-free by 2020, and are already at 62% cage-free, the sheer scale of the business indicates that this policy is not strong enough as 30% of its hens will still remain in cages – totalling in millions each year.”
Brighton mum Alex Price has also called for Noble Foods to commit to 100% cage-free eggs through a change.org petition, so far gaining the support of 44,000 signatures with an aim of 50,000.