Australians in rural and regional communities are at least concerned – if not moreso – about battery cages than their city counterparts.
Independent research commissioned last year by the RSPCA found that 82% of rural Australians, and 72% of Australians in regional centres are concerned or very concerned about battery cages.
That compares with just over 74% of Australians in capital cities.
Furthermore, around 80% of rural Australians and almost 83% of Australians in regional areas want battery cages phased out - compared with around 84.5% of people in major metropolitan areas.
RSPCA Australia Senior Policy Officer Dr Jed Goodfellow said the revelations fly in the face of claims by the cage egg industry.
“Cage egg industry lobbyists are very fond of saying that opposition to cruel battery cages comes mostly from people in the cities, who don’t understand the realities of farming,” said Dr Goodfellow.
“That’s simply not true,” he said.
“People in Australia’s farming communities and regional centres, who work with animals and understand farming, know just as well as their city-based cousins that battery cages are unacceptable and unnecessary.”
There are just two weeks left until the public consultation on new standards for poultry (including egg-laying hens) closes.
“The science debunks the use of cages and the community opposes them, so it’s time we put in place animal welfare legislation that reflects this, that stops the installation of any new battery cages and phases-out existing cages,” he said.
“It is well and truly time to end the battery cage,” said Dr Goodfellow.
To have your say and help promote good farming practices, visit https://www.rspca.org.au/layer-hen-welfare.
The RSPCA is Australia’s leading animal welfare organisation and one of Australia’s most trusted charities. The RSPCA works to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection.