There are around 21 million hens in Australia’s egg industry, along with a further 7.5 million pullets. The majority of hens are confined in battery farms in small wire cages (the size of an A4 piece of paper) with up to five other hens. They stand on wire all day every day, which can cause deformities and constant pain and discomfort. Birds regularly die in their cages and can remain there for days until factory workers remove them.
The stress and boredom of life in these factory farms along with their inability to establish a pecking order causes hens to peck and mutilate one another. In response to this, their beaks are cut off (debeaking) without the use of pain relief or anaesthesia, which causes pain and suffering.
'Barn laid' and 'free range' are feel-good terms that make consumers feel satisfied they are making a kinder decision when purchasing eggs. However, barn laid facilities can house tens of thousands of birds in windowless sheds. And “free range” operations still subject hens to cruel debeaking procedures.
After just 18 months of life, as egg production reduces and they are no longer profitable, they are slaughtered. The industry has coined the term “spent hens” to describe them. Their only taste of sunshine will be experienced on their journey to the slaughterhouse – weak, often featherless and sick.
Much like the dairy industry, male chicks are not useful when it comes to egg production. Soon after they are hatched, they will be killed - often by being poisoned by gas or macerated alive.
Queensland egg hatchery investigation
What are we doing?
• Investigating and documenting reports of animal cruelty in Queensland.
• Working with a number of other animal rights groups to conduct ground-breaking investigations to expose the true cost of egg production to the public
• Developing educational materials like our “What’s wrong with eggs” brochure
What can you do?
Don’t buy eggs. ALL commercial egg production methods involve cruelty and ALL kill the animals. There are many egg alternatives and egg-free recipes available.
For delicious egg-free recipes and information about veganism, visit www.Vegan4Life.org.au.