By Compiled by Catherine Amey for the Animal Protection Society
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Additional resources for Clean, green, and cruelty free? The true story of animals in New Zealand
While only a few New Zealand producers carry out forced moulting (in which food and water are withdrawn for up to 24 hours), it is legal if replacement pullets are unobtainable. It is a cruel process, causing severe physiological stress and resulting in the death of some birds. 43 In 2004, Auckland activists discovered an abandoned Glenbrook battery farm, filled with the decomposing bodies of thousands of hens, with some live hens sharing cages with their dead companions. According to one report “Dozens of rats were all over the premises, many were seen inside the cages living off the dead birds.
The allotted space per bird is only 1428 square centimetres (7 birds per square metre),48 and hens may still have their beaks trimmed. Free range chickens have richer and more natural lives than either barn or battery hens. However, male chicks and older hens who are laying fewer eggs, are routinely killed. 49 Even free range producers such as Eco Eggs send their entire flock of hens to the slaughterhouse, once egg production begins to decrease. Free range chickens may still be debeaked,50 and artificial lighting may be used to increase egg production.
G. D. Devine, “Survey of sow accommodation systems used in New Zealand,” New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 42 (1999): 192. 120. Animal welfare (pigs) code of welfare 2003 report. 121. Wright, Lindsay, “Heritage breed farm flourishes,” New Zealand lifestyle block 23 (2006): 20-23. 122. McIlraith, Jocelyn, “Happy healthy pigs,” New Zealand lifestyle block 23 (2006): 25. 123. G. D. Devine, “Survey of sow accommodation systems used in New Zealand,” New Zealand journal of agricultural research 42 (1999): 193.