|I’m sure you’ve heard about the horrors of farm animals reared in pens and cages that are so tight that they can’t even turn around. Each year, 40 billion farm animals suffer around the world in cramped spaces that keep them confined with little room for movement.
Egg-laying hens are subject to some of the worst farming practices. Right now, more than 300 million hens in the US and Canada are living lives of pain and suffering. Between 6 to 8 hens are commonly crammed into a cage so small that each hen has less living space than the size of an iPad – imagine being 1 of 10 people trapped in an elevator and spending the rest of your life in that confined space. The cages severely restrict hen movement to the point where hens cannot even fully stretch or flap their wings and they are not able to express a range of natural behaviors such as dust bathing. The wire floor of the crowded cage is uncomfortable to stand on and can cause painful foot injuries.
World Animal Protection is committed to changing this. We’re working tirelessly to convince major corporations to free more than 15 million hens before 2020.
And with the help and support of good and caring folks like you, we’ve made real progress – several of the nation’s biggest corporations have pledged to stop selling battery-cage eggs and to source only cage-free eggs. These companies include Nestlé, General Mills, Panera and others. But there’s still so much more to do and millions more hens to protect.
Alarmingly, of the millions of hens farmed to provide eggs in the US, less than 6% live in cage-free facilities. In 2016, we need to recommit ourselves to take action for hens.
In conventional farming systems, female pigs (sows) are kept in completely barren crates where they can barely move.
Female pigs (sows) are subjected to some of the worst conditions you can imagine. A pregnant sow will spend months confined in a gestation crate. Hard metal bars keep her in a space so small she can’t turn around. The prolonged confinement means that she won’t be able to walk for months. As a result, her muscles will grow weak and start to waste, leading to painful joint problems and lameness.
Sows also develop abnormal behaviors as a way to cope with their barren environment, where they have little opportunity to express natural behaviors. Sows repetitively chew metal bars of their crate in frustration as they cannot root, forage and explore as they would if given a chance. They can also develop painful shoulder sores as a result of constant rubbing against the metal bars – another behavior that develops in the face of frustration and boredom.
You can help end the suffering of farm animals today.