LONDON COUNCILS have been urged to end cage cruelty by buying cage-free eggs for school and council catering. Fifteen London councils have already received Good Egg Awards for their ethical egg-buying policies, but unfortunately this means that 18 are still serving thousands of meals every day that are likely to contain eggs produced by hens kept in cruel caged conditions.
“No hen should live in a cage. Caged hens experience unacceptable and unnecessary suffering,” said Ross Compton, coordinator of the London Food Link network, which champions ethical food standards in the capital. “Cages fail to properly meet a hen’s needs, as restricted space means they cannot run, fly or even flap their wings, and as a result may be more prone to afflictions including brittle bones and the food-poisoning bug Salmonella. We are also concerned that caged hens may be routinely treated with antibiotics, contributing to the alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that now threatens human health.”
Working with the farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming, London Food Link has today written to the leaders of all 33 London councils, urging them to commit to serving only cage-free eggs across all catering services that they either run or buy in. By doing so, the council would be eligible to apply for a Compassion in World Farming Good Egg Award. London Food Link has also provided London citizens – millions of whom already opt to buy cage-free eggs when they go shopping – with the chance to express their concerns about animal welfare, by emailing their council HERE.
The Greater London Authority, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other businesses and organisations already support cage-free egg buying, showing this is realistic and affordable. For the 15 London Councils who have already achieved a Good Egg Award, London Food Link is urging them to show even greater ethical food leadership by working towards a Good Farm Animal Welfare Award, by buying chicken, pork and milk products from farms that meet higher standards of animal welfare.
Progress by London Councils on ethical and health issues relating to food will be reported in London Food Link’s Good Food for London borough league table and maps to be launched in September 2014. See the 2013 report HERE. Achieving a Good Egg Award before the end of July 2014 will help a London borough to make progress in the league table.