Scotland’s leading animal campaigns charity OneKind is calling on the Scottish Government to ban farm animal cages including enriched cages for egg-laying hens and farrowing crates for sows.
The conventional battery cage system was banned in Europe in 2012 and replaced by ‘enriched’ cages. Approximately 2 million hens in Scotland are still being kept in enriched cages which extremely limit their natural behaviour preventing them from being able to run, fly, or even experience fresh air and sunlight.
The Quality Meat Scotland assurance scheme permits the use of farrowing crates to hold pregnant pigs from a week before their due date until their piglets are weaned at around 3-4 weeks. They are used to reduce piglet mortality by preventing the sow from accidentally crushing them, but severely restrict the sow’s movement so that she is unable to walk or even turn around.
OneKind’s Director Bob Elliot said:
“Our farm animals need to walk, run, fly and peck and forage outdoors. Yet millions of sentient animals in Scotland still spend their lives, or important parts of their lives, confined in cages where they are unable to carry out these natural behaviours.”
OneKind has today (Wednesday 17th April) launched a new petition calling for a ban on the use of enriched cages and farrowing crates in Scotland. It follows a petition by Compassion in World Farming calling on the UK Government to ban cages for farm animals, which OneKind supports.
Bob Elliot continued:
“Animal welfare should be a top priority for the agriculture industry, but the continued use of these cruel and inhumane cages causes real health and welfare problems.
“We urge the Scottish Government to phase out farrowing crates for pigs and cages for all laying hens in Scotland so that we can see all our farm animals living cage-free and experiencing a life that is worth living.”
Notes to editor:
- OneKind is Scotland’s leading animal campaigns charity working to end cruelty to Scotland’s animals. OneKind works to expose cruelty and persecution through investigations and research covering Scotland’s wildlife, farm animals and pets. Find out more about our work at onekind.scot
- Read more about OneKind’s #BanFarmAnimalCages campaign here.