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Activists Risk Their Own Lives in to Ban Cruel Cages


Activists Risk Their Own Lives in to Ban Cruel Cages

Monday, 25 June 2012, 10:05 am
Press Release: End Factory Farming

25 June 2012


Coalition to End Factory Farming

Activists Risk Their Own Lives in Urgent Call to Ban Cruel Cages

Workers and management of Mainland Poultry, the country’s largest battery hen operation, are arriving at work this morning to find a twenty-strong contingent of animal activists that includes campaigners suspended from eight-metre high tripods and another bolted to a farm gate.

The Coalition to End Factory Farming began their audacious road blockade early this morning on the company’s only vehicle access road to protest hen cruelty and halt production.

Coalition to End Factory Farming spokesperson, Deirdre Sims, says she and fellow activists are currently suspended from the top of steel towering tripods on the road and chained to a gate, forming a blockade. “By design, any attempt to remove the tripods, will put our lives at risk,” she says.



“Today’s action has effectively shut down Mainland Poultry and halted the distribution of cruelly produced eggs to their suppliers,” says Coalition spokesperson, Carl Scott, who spent one month inside a cage outside Mainland Poultry last year.

“An undercover investigation of Mainland Poultry’s new colony cage system by Open Rescue in March revealed that hens are still suffering inside cages. They witnessed tens of thousands of birds crammed into colony cages which are nothing more than modified battery cages,” says Mr Scott.

Mainland Poultry have been trialing colony cages, which are set to replace existing battery cages following a review of the Code of Welfare for Layer Hens. The Minister for Primary Industries, David Carter, is likely to approve colony cages despite them being condemned by every animal advocacy organisation in New Zealand, including the RNZSPCA, WSPA and SAFE.

“We have placed ourselves in this potentially very dangerous position and are prepared to risk our lives if it helps to prohibit the use of all cruel cage systems in New Zealand. This should serve as a strong warning to Mainland Poultry that we are escalating our efforts and remind consumers not to buy Farmer Brown eggs, which are Mainland’s cage-produced range. After decades of campaigning against cruel cage systems, enough is enough,” says Ms Sims.

“Eight out of ten New Zealanders believe that hen cages are cruel and unacceptable. The Government must make the right decision. A cage is a cage and they must be banned,” says Ms Sims.

The activists will maintain their blockade for as long as possible.

View colony cage footage taken by New Zealand Open Rescue at: