Compassion was very disappointed to learn that the government’s Chief Veterinary Officer has described the commitment by leading retailers, including Tesco, Morrisons and Asda, to stop selling caged eggs by 2025 as a “regrettable move” because of the threat from bird flu.
Nigel Gibbens is in a shrinking minority that believe colony cages “have a lot going for them” over barren battery cages, confusing the need to house birds during high risk periods of avian influenza with the barbaric act of caging them throughout their entire lives.
These systems, that deprive animals of their most basic behaviours, are completely outdated and have no place in future food production.
In recent years incredible progress has been made towards ending the cage age for hens.
Our CEO, Philip Lymbery, said: “This is a deeply misguided statement from Nigel Gibbens. So called ‘enriched’ cages may be an improvement on the banned barren battery cage, but when you see the way these cages still leave hens crammed in, with barely any space to stretch their wings and express their natural behaviours, it’s clear that a cage is still a cage.”
We want to see the UK's government act as animal welfare leaders, not laggards, and assign the cage to the history books once and for all.
Instead of criticising those retailers and businesses showing enlightenment and forward-thinking, our government should be congratulating them on their leadership and supporting their transition to go cage-free.