Every hen deserves to walk, run, explore, and spread her wings.
Join the Movement to End the Cage Age in Canada
The majority of hens in Canadian egg farms endure a life of pure agony in cruel wire cages.
Years ago, Canadians demanded an end to all cages, but the Canadian egg industry is instead making cages slightly bigger and continuing to force birds to live in intensive confinement for years. Canada is falling behind the United States and Europe in eliminating one of the industry’s cruelest practices.
Sign the petition calling on the National Farm Animal Care Council to ban all cages for hens in Canada today.
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Canadian Consumers Want a Cage-Free Canada
*The National Farm Animal Care Council is an industry-led group that develops voluntary farmed animal welfare standards in Canada.
The Painful Truth for Hens in Canada
Life in Confinement
Most hens in the Canadian egg industry spend nearly their entire lives in barren, overcrowded wire cages. Each bird is provided with floor space no larger than a sheet of legal paper.
Caged birds are crammed so tightly together that they cannot express behaviours essential to their welfare. Running, jumping, stretching, foraging, dustbathing, and wing spreading are nearly impossible.
Physical and Mental Anguish
Cages force hens to endure painful health problems, such as foot lesions, bone loss, and liver disease. Left to just sit or stand for their entire lives, these naturally active and curious animals suffer from extreme stress and boredom.
The Cruelty of “Enriched” Cages
Enriched cages, also called “furnished” or “enriched colony housing,” are the egg industry’s response to consumer demand for an end to cages. But this alternative falls far short of what Canadian consumers expect of their food system. Hens in enriched cages suffer immensely. They are given only a few extra inches of living space and still spend their lives on wire flooring. Enriched or not, a cage is a cage.
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
No hen should endure the torment of being trapped in a cramped wire cage. The Canadian egg industry must join countries and states around the world in outlawing cages and allow hens the freedom to walk more than a few steps, comfortably nest, perch, forage, and spread their wings. Now is a critical moment in stopping the production of new cages of any size.
How the Industry Has Failed Hens and Consumers
Undercover investigations in the 2010s exposed the cruelty endured by laying hens raised in conventional “battery” cages in Canada. An outraged public demanded an end to all cage confinement for hens.
The Retail Council of Canada announced that its grocery members had voluntarily committed to phasing out battery cages for laying hens by 2025.
By this time, about 100 companies across the Canadian food industry had committed to going 100% cage-free by 2025. Following company pledges, the National Farm Animal Care Council released codes of practice for laying hens. But these standards fail to ban cages, and they promote the use of only slightly larger enriched cages.
Egg producers continued to shift to enriched cages, representing 14% of confinement systems for laying hens in Canada.
In March 2021, the Retail Council of Canada announced that it would not honour its commitment to phasing out battery cages and left sourcing decisions to individual grocers. As a result, several Canadian retailers withdrew or weakened their policies.
The percentage of hens kept in cruel enriched cages continued to grow. By 2022, 32% of laying hens were kept in these cages—more than double the hens in 2018.
Now is our chance to stop enriched cages from becoming the norm in Canada’s egg industry. Over 130 companies operating in Canada have made public cage-free egg commitments. But since 2018, the percentage of hens confined to cages in the country has decreased by less than 3 percentage points, while the percentage of those living in enriched cages has increased by more than 17 percentage points.
Consumers demanded an end to cage confinement for hens in Canada. This is what the egg industry is delivering instead.
Graph illustrating the rising percentage of hens kept in enriched cages in Canada.
Enriched cages are not what Canadians asked for.
Canada Is Falling Behind
Percentage of laying hens confined in cages.
Hens Need You
Let’s end the worst suffering for hens raised for eggs. Join the movement to ban cruel confinement of hens in Canada.
Sign the Petition
Add your name to the petition to keep hens in Canada out of cruel cages.
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Become a Hen Hero
Join a community of dedicated advocates who take quick, meaningful actions to urge corporations to stop the worst suffering for chickens in Canada and beyond.
Choose Plant-Based Foods
One of the most powerful ways you can help hens is by leaving eggs off your plate. Download our How to Eat Veg guide today.