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A new Code of Practice for egg-laying hens in Canada has resulted in the complete phasing out of wire battery cages that prevent hens from spreading their wings and walking about for their entire lives.
The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens (Egg Code) is a new standards test for egg-laying hens in North America.
The code means that as of 2017, no new barren battery cages will be built in Canada.
As well, the code also requires all battery cages to phased out by 2036.
According to the BC SPCA, this is the first time such detailed requirements have been developed in the history of Canada’s egg industry.
The BC SPCA applauds the thousands of people - largely from British Columbia - who worked tirelessly to facilitate change for farm animals.
“We can’t thank people enough for lending their voices to help facilitate change for farm animals,” said Geoff Urton, BC SPCA senior manager, stakeholder relations. “For so many responses to come from B.C., especially when other provinces have far more people, speaks to the passion British Columbians have for farm animal welfare.”
"Thanks to your work and the work of animal welfare advocates on the council, barren battery cages that prevent egg-laying hens from spreading their wings or walking around for their entire lives will be phased out in the next 15 years," continued Urton. "Canadian egg producers will soon need to allow chickens to nest, perch and scratch and have more space to move around."
Currently, 90 percent of Canada’s egg-laying hens live in cramped wire battery cages.