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We are actively campaigning for a cage-free South Africa. Take a look at this 2 min video that outlines the issue and demonstrates why cramped, filthy cages are inhumane and unnecessary for egg-laying hens. Raise your voice and join us on social media #CageFreeSA

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Making cages a thing of the past


Battery cages cause suffering by depriving hens of their most basic needs: nests, perches, and enough space to move around.

The Humane Society reports that, on average, each caged laying hen is afforded less space than a single sheet of A4-sized paper on which to live her entire life. Unable even to spread their wings, caged laying hens are among the most intensively confined animals in agriculture. Numerous scientists and other experts have spoken clearly about these problems with battery cages.

Our campaign calls for the end the use of cages for egg-laying hens. Cage-free systems improve the lives of hens significantly and cause less harm to them and the environment.

SAFCEI is working towards the total eradication of battery cages for laying hens in Southern Africa.  We are requesting all in the food industry to commit to transitioning to cage-free eggs as soon as possible but by no later than 2025.

The road we’ve travelled so far

In 2016, the South African Poultry Association reported that 80 million hens produced eggs – 96.4% in cages and 3.6% in barns and free-range systems.

On 14th November 2016, McDonald’s South Africa announced that it would implement a cage-free policy when it came to sourcing their eggs, and transition to a 100% cage-free supply chain by 2025. This comes after continued efforts of SAFCEI and other animal welfare organisations to engage McDonald’s South Africa on this.

Frank Molteno, past SAFCEI Board Chair and volunteer said:

“SAFCEI welcomes McDonald’s announcement with thankfulness. We congratulate McDonald’s on realising that this is the way of the future as more and more people of faith grasp that compassion can know no bounds because we all – all creatures – have the same source.”

At the same time, we are mindful of the terror, pain and suffering of the hens who will continue to lay McDonald’s’ eggs over the next 8 or 9 years as per McDonald’s’ timeline. Having ‘under-promised’ on the pace at which they can make the transition to cage-free eggs, we encourage McDonald’s to ‘over-deliver’ and beat their target of 2025 by as many years as possible.”

In 2019, there were two major victories for SAFCEI and the cage-free movement. After a campaign against the City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG), they publicly announced a commitment to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs (shell, liquid, and ingredient) in all their hotels on the African continent by the end of 2025. The next giant to topple was Hotel Verde with operations in Cape Town (South Africa) and Zanzibar (Tanzania). After months of dialogue and two days of campaigning, they have committed to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs throughout their operations by 2025. Hotel Verde has also committed to report annually on their progress.

SAFCEI is encouraged by the unwavering determination from our many supporters who have helped to make this happen. We thank both Hotel Verde and the City Lodge Hotel Group for taking us a step closer to end the use of battery cages for hens in South Africa. 

Globally, cage-free pledges from around 100 companies are going to spare about 60 million hens annually from battery cage confinement, and we are committed to saving more.

Activists join SAFCEI’s call to ban battery cages at the Cape Town Unites for Animals March, March 2017

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