This Halloween we have a terrifying truth for trick or treaters…
Did you know that millions of egg-laying hens and pigs are cruelly confined in cages across Scotland?
Millions of laying hens in Scotland will spend their entire lives confined in so-called ‘enrichment’ cages while breeding sows will spend at least a month in a crate each time they give birth.
Here’s 5 reasons why these cages are so cruel
Farmed animals are sentient
This means that can feel a wide range of emotions such as joy, pain and fear, and seek out positive experiences and avoid negative experiences. Farmed animals can also form close social bonds and solve problems. To confine them to these small cages, removes their autonomy and treats them solely as commodities.
Egg-laying hens are kept in ‘enrichment’ cages 24 hours a day
Each hen has an area little more than the size of an A4 piece of paper. These cages provide, a nest box, scratching mat and a perch, but the law doesn’t specify how large these scratching pads should be, so they are often very minimal, and due to the size of the cage, perches cannot be placed high enough to serve their function- to enable hens to get high enough off the ground to avoid their predators.
These hens are unable to run, fly and experience sunlight
As a result of hens’ cramped living area in these so-called ‘enriched’ cages, they are unable to run, fly, dust-bathe and experience fresh air and sunlight. The restriction of their natural behaviours can lead to a multitude of welfare problems, such as frustration and the lack of exercise to physical issues, such as bone weakness.
Sows are confined to crates so small that they are unable to turn around
A week before they are due to give birth and for 3-4 weeks thereafter, sows are confined to farrowing crates so small that they are unable to even fully turn around or move away if their piglets bite them while feeding. In fact, the only way that they can interact with their young is by laying down and feeding them through bars.
Sows may suffer from painful sores and fatigue
Sows may suffer from a range of health issues, such as painful sores and fatigue, from the immobility imposed upon them by farrowing crates. The lack of, or inadequate provision of, materials such as straw or peat also stops sows from fulfilling their strong nest-building instincts and this causes stress.
Help us to end this horror
- Take action to stop this horror and sign our petition calling on the Scottish Government to ban the use on enriched cages for hens and farrowing crates for sows here.
- Please consider joining OneKind with a monthly donation – we’re a small charity so every new member we have means we can expand our work on important work to end cruelty towards Scotland’s animals. Alternatively, if you’re not able to become a member please consider a one-off donation here. Thank you!