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In our backyard

Here is our UK Director, Dave Neale's heart-wrenching story of how battery hens are raised and treated in the UK and why, with just a little forethought we, as individual consumers, can drastically improve their lives.

As Dave says, this is not just an issue that affects the UK. Intensive farming practices are global and creeping across Asia - but a difference can be made through compassionate shopping.

"In the past two weeks I have been involved in the rescue of battery hens from farms in the UK, rescuing over 900 hens as a volunteer with the Battery Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT). These birds are kept in tiny wire cages with four and sometimes five other hens, with no room to move or stretch their wings.

The hens have been there for 18 months to two years without even seeing the light of day. Stuck inside cages that have not been cleaned since the day the birds entered them. Even after many years of being involved in welfare, these conditions continue to shock me.
This photo is courtesy of CIWF (Compassion in World Farming):

I am pleased to say that for these 900 hens, happy homes await them (the BHWT has now rescued and homed over 130,000 hens) and there is little better feeling than to rescue these birds from a life of misery and pass them on to loving new owners who have dedicated part of their gardens to give these hens a well-deserved retirement.

I now have five hens sharing my garden, including these two poor souls now with coats on to keep them warm.

If you get the chance, please do have a look at this site www.bhwt.org.uk and please do not buy battery eggs. This means both whole "shell" eggs from caged hens AND food that contains eggs (egg powder) from battery hens.

In the UK, supermarkets such as the Co-op and M&S now only use free-range eggs in their "own-brand" produce (cakes, biscuits, etc).

Battery cages are due to be banned across the EU from 2012. Support British free-range farmers and only buy free-range eggs and products made using free-range and not caged hens' eggs."

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