15 June 2021

Abstract: The RSPCA has been calling for an end to the battery cage in Australia for decades. More and more people are joining the chorus.

The practice of keeping layer hens in barren battery cages is arguably the worst animal welfare issue in Australia today. Over 10 million smart and social layer hens suffer for their entire lives in battery cages.

The good news is consumer demand for cage-free eggs is growing, and companies are listening.

Food giant Nestle is now only using cage-free eggs in all European production, with a goal to source all its eggs globally from cage-free hens by 2025. The RSPCA was also pleased to note that Domino's Pizza has made a commitment to source 100 per cent cage-free eggs across their operations globally by 2025.

The RSPCA is one of the stakeholders involved in the current development of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry, which are intended to replace the current Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Domestic Poultry. During this process, we are continuing to campaign for battery cages to be phased out in Australia and support housing and management that improve the welfare of the hen by allowing her to perch, roost, forage and lay her eggs in a nest.

Another way that the RSPCA is helping to get hens out of cages is through public awareness initiatives such as our Choose Wisely and Cage Free & Proud campaigns.

Choose Wisely is the RSPCA’s initiative encouraging and supporting cafes and restaurants to source products from higher welfare farming systems, such as cage-free eggs.

With half of Australia’s eggs going into food service and manufacturing – and most of these eggs being cage eggs – it’s likely that many consumers who choose cage-free eggs in the supermarket are consuming cage eggs when dining at a café or restaurant.

The RSPCA’s Cage Free & Proud campaign recognises the companies in Australia that are cage-free and proud. These companies are proving every day that you can build a successful and profitable business based on good animal welfare; and that we can produce affordable, safe, healthy cage-free eggs on a large scale.

To find out more about how you can help phase out the use of battery cages, head to the RSPCA Australia website.