Animals Australia has welcomed the decision by Coles to stop selling their home brand cage eggs by 2013 and to encourage their customers to make the switch away from eggs laid by hens in battery cages.
Executive Director of Animals Australia Glenys Oogjes stated:
"This announcement is another indication that Coles is acknowledging that consumers do not accept the cruelty that is routinely inflicted on animals in factory farms. Coles has recently shown important ethical leadership and we challenge other supermarkets to demonstrate that they too care about the welfare of animals."
But the peak animal welfare organisation cautions that this is only a first step to freeing hens from the cruel battery cages.
Ms Oogjes: "We would of course prefer to see all cage eggs removed from supermarket shelves completely. Supermarkets in the UK such as Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's have already achieved this and have played a major role in significantly reducing cage egg market share in favour of free range in the UK. In addition, discount retailer ALDI has already stopped selling cage eggs in its home country Germany, and I urge them to adopt that policy in Australi
"The timing of Coles' announcement to phase out their home brand cage eggs is particularly pleasing since State and Commonwealth Governments have reneged on their commitment to this year review the outdated national 'Code of Practice' for poultry, which still permits the cruel confinement of hens in cages.
"Australia is already trailing more than a decade behind EU developments where a decision was made in 1999 based on comprehensive scientific evidence to ban battery cages by 2012. Australian governments have so far failed to act to ban this cruel cage system which sentences around 14 million hens to cruel confinement in cages with less space than an A4 sheet of paper — and no end to their suffering in sight. It is therefore crucial that supermarkets and consumers instead use their purchasing power to rid this country of the archaic battery cage system" Ms Oogjes concluded.
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