UPDATE: Our new official House of Commons petition is being presented in Parliament! This is our golden to reach the Government. Sign it here: https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-766
Please sign this petition to tell the House of Commons and the Premiers of Canada to bring necessary change for hens being legally abused across our country. In Canada over 90% of egg-laying hens are being trapped in these small cramped “battery” cages their entire lives. When chickens are "living" in these cruel conditions they are unable to perform natural behaviours such as nesting, perching, dust bathing, stretching their wings or even walking around. On average each hen is given less space than a standard sheet of printed paper. Although this already is enough reasons to ban this inhumane practice, battery cages eggs also carry serious food safety risks. A study by the European Food Safety Agency, which analyzed data from 5,000 egg farms in over 20 countries found that eggs from battery hens were twenty-five times more likely to carry salmonella infection than uncaged free run hens! This practice is cruel and unsafe for consumers, which is why it must be banned and forgotten in all of Canada.
Below you will find our letter that you send when signing this petition, to the Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, all party leaders in the House of Commons and all Provincial and Territorial Premiers.
Dear Justin Trudeau, Lawrence MacAulay, Rona Ambrose, Tom Mulcair, Elizabeth May, Rhéal Fortin, Kathleen Wynne, Christy Clark, Philippe Couillard, Stephen McNeil, Brian Gallant, Brian Pallister, Wade MacLauchlan, Brad Wall, Rachel Notley, Dwight Ball, Bob McLeod, Darrell Pasloski, Peter Taptuna
We would first off like to thank you for dedicating your time and effort to our country. We know that as officials elected by the citizens of Canada, you want to help and work for Canadians. The issue of most importance to myself and the Canadians signing the petition to "Ban Battery Cages in Canada" is no other than the issue of battery cages. According to the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, over 90% of egg laying hens in Canada are living in battery cages. These are tiny wire cages that chickens live in their entire lives. This not only damages chickens physically, but mentally as well, and studies show battery caged eggs to provide frightening food safety risks for consumers.
Battery cages have been used on animals for decades and it is shameful that this inhumane practice continues. When chickens are put in battery cages for their entire lives, they act extremely unusual. Since chickens often die because of the terrible conditions in these cages, it’s not uncommon to find them cannibalizing other chickens. Chickens are smart and social animals that are almost never found doing this when living in regular conditions. According to farm sanctuary, chickens are outperforming dogs and cats on many tests of advanced cognition. The emotional intelligence of chickens is outstanding and far better than we ever thought so.
But it’s not just chickens minds that are destroyed in these cages, it’s their bodies too. Chickens suffer feather loss and skin damage due to constant rubbing against the cage and other chickens. Their muscles and bones waste away due to lack of use, and in some cases, their skeletal systems become so weak that their spinal cords deteriorate and they become paralyzed; the animals then die from dehydration. This sad and awful situation is so common that the industry actually has a term for it, “cage fatigue”, and endless investigations show the remaining living birds forced to stand on the rotting, mummified bodies of their cage-mates.
And there are even more negative effects on the chickens living in these cages. Since each hen on average is given less space than a standard piece of printed paper (94 square inches), they are unable to stretch their wings or even walk around. They are also neglected of other natural behaviours such as nesting, perching and dustbathing. These are activities that are important to them. To make it even worse for these hens, instead of dust bathing, they are forced to bathe in urine and feces that fall onto them from the hens in cages stacked above. The list of reasons to end this form of farming go on and on.
Aside from the disgusting conditions these hens are force to live in, there are terrifying food safety risks to the consumers of battery caged eggs as well. A study by the European Food Safety Agency, which analyzed data from 5,000 egg farms in over 20 countries found that eggs from battery hens were twenty-five times more likely to carry salmonella infection than uncaged free run hens! Along with this, keeping hens in small cramped cages and not allowing them to perform natural behaviors causes exponential stress for these hens. When hens are constantly undergoing considerable stress, they can be more susceptible to diseases and more infectious.
Battery cages are providing disgustingly cruel conditions for the hens that produce our food, and terrifying food safety risks to the consumers that eat these eggs. It is up to the the elected Ministers, Federal Leaders and Provincial and Territorial Premiers of our country to create the necessary change for this issue. We must move into the 21st century and ban the practice of battery cages in our egg industry. In conclusion, as concerned citizens of Canada we say to the elected officials working for us: For the sake of our animals, and our people, do the right thing.