03/26/05 A Day in a Cage

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On Easter eve Animal Friends locked up in a narrow cage with the message: EGGS FOR PEOPLE, LIFETIME IN A CAGE FOR HENS!

At Easter time when people buy and spend an enormous number of eggs without thinking of them as cholesterol bombs or potential salmonella infection, Animal Friends warns about the ugly truth of extreme cruelty to hens and chickens which lies behind jolly commercials for "fresh" eggs and "ecological and healthy" poultry.

In order to reveal the horrid truth of breeding and treatment of egg-laying hens and slaughtering of chickens, three of our activists will be locked up in a cage sized one square meter and call passers-by to join them in the cage and at least for a moment think of egg-laying hens who spend their whole miserable lives in such cages, and therefore not to eat eggs for their own health and for the sake of animals.

Action will take place on Easter eve, March 26, 2005, at 10 A.M. in front of Dubrovnik Hotel in Gajeva ulica. Along with the cage, info desk and info panel, leaflets will be handed out and a video footage of breeding of battery hens will be shown.

The goal of the action is to present inhumane conditions in which chickens and hens are bred for the purposes of meat and egg industries. At this very moment, millions of egg-laying hens are locked up in confined cages just for the purposes of laying eggs. They spend their whole lives cramped in cages living on a surface the size of A4 paper, and are not even able to spread their wings. All of them are previously de-beaked, meaning part of their beaks are sliced off with a red hot blade, because due to conditions they live in, they get frustrated and end up attacking one another. Male chickens end up as waste material, suffocated or, more commonly, crushed alive.

The cages are made of wire that cuts into their legs and plucks their feathers, because of which they have wounds, scabs and furuncles all over their bodies. Farmers ignore their physical and mental agony completely by keeping them under artificial lighting instead of the sunlight, up to 22 hours a day, so that they would eat more and therefore gain weight faster.

Moreover, they are constantly exposed to the stink of their own excrement, their cages never stand straight and they are known to suffer from a large number of medical conditions, such as permanent feet deformity, "egg-laying hens' fatigue" - a disease that also results in bone weakness, "seacoast syndrome" - results in watery eggwhites, "fear and hysteria syndrome" and "fat liver syndrome" that can be fatal because of the bleeding of liver. Farmers tend to solve these problems with number of dangerous medicines that increase animals' suffering and also endanger the health of humans. Also, egg-laying hens have to go through forced moulting in order to increase the period of laying eggs and the size of eggs. They have to suffer through all of these procedures until they reach the period in which their exhausted bodies are no more capable of laying eggs.

Battery cages are already banned in many countries all over the world. The EU has reached a decision that bans chicken breeding in cages that will come into effect on January 1, 2012, and from January 1, 2004 production and use of new cages will not be allowed.

Animal Friends asks for the legal ban on battery cages so Croatia would follow current changes in the civilized world regarding treatment of animals which are incorporated in legislations of the member states of the EU to which Croatia tries to join.

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