Montreal, July 27th 2016 – The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) recently published a draft version of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Poultry – Layers, which will be setting the animal welfare standards for the egg industry at the national level. Despite enormous pressure on the industry on the part of consumers, animal protection organisations and several multinational corporations such as McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s and Metro, to do away with the use of cages to confine hens, the new Code continues to allow caged egg production.
“The drafting of a new code of practice represents a unique opportunity for the Canadian egg industry to affirm its commitment to animal welfare” explains Sophie Gaillard, lawyer for the animal advocacy department of the Montreal SPCA. “It’s the occasion to reflect on the future of caged production systems and to adopt standards adapted to the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers, for whom the use of cages to confine farm animals is simply no longer acceptable.”
The Code must first go through a public comment period, which ends on August 29th, before being published in its final form. If adopted as is, the Code will continue to permit Canada’s 26 million laying hens to be raised in cages, thereby preventing them from engaging in several natural behaviours necessary to their welfare, such as roaming, flying, wing-flapping and exploring their environment.
Join the Montreal SPCA, as well as Humane Society International Canada, today in order to voice your concern over the use of cages in the egg industry and to encourage the code development committee to revisit certain aspects of the proposed code.
We also encourage you to refuse to purchase eggs produced in cages by purchasing only free-range, free-run, or certified organic eggs, or by refraining from buying eggs altogether. Have a look at Humane Society International Canada’s guide to egg labels to make sure you know where your eggs come from. By making this simple change, you can send the egg industry a clear and powerful message that raising hens in cages has no future in Canada.
To learn more about the Montreal SPCA’s position on farm animal welfare, please consult our official policies.