A video of the association, tour of farms in Côtes-d’Armor and Vendée, shows hens piled up on shelves, without access to the outside or natural light.
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The association for the defense of animals L214 denounced, Wednesday, April 21, the conditions of raising hens on the ground, at œeggs classified as “code 2”, while this system, in full swing, is presented as a satisfactory alternative to cages. A video tour of farms in Côtes-d’Armor and Vendée, one of which has 30,000 poultry, shows hens piled up on shelves, without access to the outside or natural light. Plucked, dying or dead hens also appear, whose entrails are pecked by their congeners.
According to L214, ground farming cumulates “all the characteristics of intensive breeding” : “closed buildings several tens of meters long, filled with metal structures of several floors, without straw or litter, stress and diseases causing ‘pecking’ between hens and cannibalism, sick or injured birds, left without care, corpses left in middle of the hens “.
The association explains in a press release that this method of breeding “has doubled its production in five years following the abandonment of œchicken eggs in cages by supermarkets “, but that the related breeding conditions remain “almost unknown to the general public”. For its part, the inter-profession ofœuf (CNPO) argues that cage farming (eggs classified “code 3”) has fallen since 2017 in favor of systems “alternative” which represent more than 50% of production, including ground farming (12%).
L214 underlines that many actors have preferred to turn to indoor breeding rather than to the outdoors. The association also denounces the confusion generated by the terms “ground farming” among consumers, pointing to a strong discrepancy “between the pastoral imagery of packaging and reality”. Asked by AFP, the president of the inter-professional organization Philippe Juven recalls, for his part, argues that the sector has been working since 2016 on alternatives to cages.