End the use of eggs from caged and barn kept hens in Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons and Asda

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This isn’t just another petition. This petition can change the lives of billions of hens.

We are a group of 14 and 15 year old boys who are working to stop the abuse of egg-laying hens in factory farms. We are determined to expose the cruelty in egg production across the UK. We want the compassionate British public to call on supermarkets to stop the use of cruelly-produced eggs as ingredients in their products and tell them to opt for free-range eggs instead. If we can get enough signatures for our petition, then we are certain that shops will take note and will listen to the demands of the people.

Many supermarkets have signed up to cage-free agreements which mean they will cease selling eggs from caged hens. However, this agreement does not include the supermarkets’ use of eggs as an ingredient in products, for instance in their ready meals, baked goods and sandwiches. We want Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons to promise to stop using cruelly-produced eggs in their own-brand products, just as they have agreed to stop selling these eggs.

Although battery cages were banned in 2012, they were replaced by so-called ‘enriched cages’ which are only marginally larger. Terrible practices such as de-beaking and cramped conditions are still commonplace. Supermarkets often state that their products contain ‘Barn’ eggs – in this instance the animals are not caged but they still suffer from terribly overcrowded conditions and no access to the outside. We argue that the only right and ethical option is to use free-range eggs as an ingredient, whereby animals have the freedom to display natural behaviour and roam outside.

There is a huge amount of scientific evidence to show that hens are intelligent, sensitive creatures that deserve to live lives free of cruelty and suffering. They can perform tricks and they can even remember faces. These wonderful animals deserve to live free of suffering and pain. Knowing how smart and complex these animals are makes us even more determined to ban cruelly-produced eggs in supermarket products.

Hens which are kept in cages live their entire lives in terrible conditions. They are often kept in the dark and are packed so tightly that they start to behave aggressively and attack each other. In fact hens in cages and barns routinely have their beaks cruelly trimmed precisely so they do not peck each other in this cramped environment. Some even turn to cannibalisation. Disease is also common and many birds have terrible injuries or die slow deaths.

Caged hens also have no opportunity to exhibit natural behaviour. Chickens like to scratch and forage, this means they enjoy pecking at the ground and finding worms and grubs to eat. They like to perch on different objects. They like to create their own nests. They like to clean themselves. They like to move about and explore new places. None of this is possible in a caged environment.

Eggs produced in a barn environment are often just as cruel. Hens again have their beaks cruelly cut off (without any pain relief) and fighting, disease and injuries are all very common. There can be as many as 9 egg-laying hens per square metre.

Hens suffer both physical and mental trauma as a result of living in cages and overcrowded barns and we are calling for supermarkets up and down Great Britain to stop funding these cruel systems by ending the use of these eggs in their products.

We believe that this is just the start. If these big supermarkets listen to us then other shops, producers and restaurants will also have to follow their lead. Supermarkets like the Co-operative, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer already ensure that all their own-brand products use only free-range eggs. There is absolutely no reason why other supermarkets can’t do the same.

We have it in our power to change the lives of billions of egg-laying hens. Together we can make a difference. Let’s do it!



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