The UK-based company Bryant Research has published the results of a new poll conducted in May 2023 revealing that 80% of the 1,000 Canadian respondents consider confining laying hens to “battery” cages unacceptable, 75% oppose the use of so-called enriched cages, and 79% agree that companies such as restaurants and grocery stores should ban cages in their egg supply chains.
About 83% of hens in Canada continue to be farmed in cages. Canada has opted for larger “enriched” cages instead of phasing out cages, despite broad agreement among Canadians that keeping hens in enriched cages is unacceptable. Between 2018 and 2022 the percentage of hens in Canada confined to enriched cages increased by more than 17 percentage points.
PJ Nyman, corporate policy advisor at Mercy For Animals, said, “Canada should be at the forefront of animal welfare, but it has fallen behind the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union in prohibiting the use of cages. With most companies committed to eliminating cages by 2025, Mercy For Animals’ CageFree.ca makes a strong case for the egg industry to move toward completely banning cages.”
Makayla Rosas, corporate campaign specialist at Mercy For Animals, said, “Today, 20 million hens in Canada are still crammed in wire cages. “y continuing to invest in cages, the Canadian egg industry is disregarding consumers’ will and falling behind other countries. Canadians have demanded cage-free, not slightly larger cages. That’s why Mercy For Animals, on behalf of Canadian consumers, is calling for no cages and encouraging food corporations to share progress toward animal welfare goals.”
The reality is that with or without cages, in small cages or in “enriched” cases, all hens will continue to be brutally exploited and killed in the same slaughterhouses, so the only real solution is to stop farming chickens and replace animal agriculture with plant-based agriculture, which is what vegans are campaigning for.