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Cage Free and Proud - why it's important to get everyone on board

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  • RSPCA Australia
  • Thursday, 4 October 2018

We know most Australians want to see hens freed from battery cages, regardless of their income and education, and whether they live in the city or the country. With so many Aussies caring about hens, the push to get rid of the battery cage has become a national movement, and big brands are making big commitments in response to major consumer power.

The past five years have indeed seen some significant changes. More consumers are now choosing cage-free eggs in the supermarket than cage eggs. So where are the millions of cage eggs that are produced each year by battery hens going? Many are going into food production and service, meaning that when you go to a café or restaurant, or you buy anything at the supermarket with egg as an ingredient, you could still be paying for cage eggs. Fortunately, there are many big brands that are making a real effort to ensure that their products live up to the expectations of consumers, and are making the switch to cage-free eggs.

Some major brands that have already made the switch and a huge difference to the lives of hens. Arnott’s has always prided itself on using real and honest ingredients; Grill’d have been using cage-free eggs since the day they opened their doors; Subway has served 3.5 million cage-free eggs since its commitment in 2015; IKEA’s vision is for a better every day for people and hens; McDonald’s is honouring its commitment to using cage-free eggs in all of its 900 restaurants across the country; Nando’s believes that battery cages have no place in Australia; and Harris Farm Markets take their motto ‘For the greater goodness’ seriously in all its 26 outlets throughout Australia. These brands deserve to be recognised for their trailblazing approach to hen welfare.

With Coles making the commitment to stop selling cage eggs by 2023, and Woolworths and Aldi by 2025, consumers have more opportunity than ever to purchase cage-free eggs. These companies, each using or selling millions of eggs every year, have shown that affordable, cage-free eggs can be used on a large scale - and there is no reason others can't too.

But there are still more than 10 million hens in battery cages in Australia. Hens are clever and social, and have innate instincts to flap their wings, perch and scratch the ground, and they suffer greatly in battery cages. That’s why it’s so important to support the companies that are using cage-free eggs, and to encourage those that haven’t yet made the switch, to do so soon.   

Check out the complete list of businesses that have committed to being Cage Free and Proud, and if your favourite brands isn’t there, let us know. Consumer power is incredibly powerful, and a key element in finally freeing Aussie hens from cages.

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