United Poultry Concerns
March 8, 2000
Please Note: United Poultry Concern's support for a ban on battery cages does not mean that we support alternative egg-production systems. We do not support crowded indoor alternatives to battery cages, or any use of chickens. We support veganism.

Glenys Oogjes (03) 9329 6333
E-mail: animals@melbpc.org.au

Animal Groups Around the World Hail Australian Consensus: "Battery Cages Must Go!"

Animals Australia Director Glenys Oogjes has announced that all eight State and Territory Agriculture Ministers agreed on March 3, 2000 that a phase out of battery cages is necessary. "This is an amazing turn around since their last meeting in August 1999," said Oogjes, "when only 4 of the 8 Ministers were supportive of a phase out of the cruel battery cage system. It shows that the Ministers have been listening to mounting community concern about the welfare of battery hens."

The Ministers will soon release a discussion paper for public consultation. The response to the paper will assist their decision at the next meeting in Brisbane in August 2000. The Ministers will also directly consult with welfare groups to determine the detailed recommendations for phase out in preparation for that meeting.

The Ministers also agreed to introduce a national labeling system for egg cartons. The type of hen housing of ALL eggs will be indicated. Currently, accurate labeling of egg cartons is in place only in the ACT. The labeling system will be developed by the Government and the egg industry, in consultation with animal welfare groups over the next 12 months.

Animals Australia Director Glenys Oogjes said: "We welcome this vindication of such a strong public feeling against confining hens in tiny cages. The Ministers have now accepted that it is cruel to keep a hen in a barren space smaller than an A4 piece of paper. We now urge the Ministers not to give way to industry pressure. The industry has ignored animal welfare concerns for two decades and now reality has caught up with them.

"Animals Australia and animal groups in Australia and overseas will not let up on the pressure." Oogjes announced. "We will not stop until the hens can dustbathe, lay their eggs in a nest, preen their feathers and strut their stuff!. Battery cages can then take their rightful place rusting in landfill dumps or recycled as concrete reinforcement!"

For updates contact: Glenys Oogjes, Director, Animals Australia: 03 9329 6333, or 041 431 2552. E-mail: animals@melbpc.org.au Website: www.melbourne.net/animals_australia/

Animals Australia is the Australian arm of the Australian and New Zealand Federation of Animal Welfare Societies Inc. Mailing address: 37 O'Connell Street, North Melbourne 3051

United Poultry Concerns. March 8, 2000

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Australian Ministers Say Battery Cages Must Go!)