Jamie Oliver and Battery Hens

FORMER battery hens have arrived at the RSPCA centre in Brent Knoll to start a new life.

FORMER battery hens have arrived at the RSPCA centre in Brent Knoll to start a new life.

A group of 13 hens have been saved from slaughter by The Battery Hen Welfare Trust in Devon and taken in by the animal charity.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is the patron of the trust and an avid supporter of better conditions for hens. The Battery Hen Welfare Trust has re-homed over 64,000 since opening in 2005.

The hens are in need of new home and can be adopted from the animal centre.


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RSPCA assistant Emma Phillips who works at the centre said: "The hens are kept for up to 12 months before being killed and these ones are fortunately being saved. The conditions that these hens lived in were terrible. They could not move and were constantly pecked by other hens next to them.

"The hens were restricted from carrying out their natural behaviours such as feather ruffling, head scratching, body shaking, and wing stretching and flapping.

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"When they arrive they are bold and thin, but within a few months they will be transformed. I can not wait to help get them healthy again."

She added that the number of hens saved from slaughter is increasing day by day and their centre is receiving ex-battery hens on a regular basis.

Battery cages are bare wire enclosures, which are stacked on top of each other in rows. Each hen has the equivalent floor space of an A4 size piece of paper.

This is the second time the Brent Knoll RSPCA centre has received hens from the trust and staff say more and more hens are coming from battery farms.

Celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall have led a campaign to stop battery farming. Sales of free range eggs have gone through the roof due to the campaign and a recent survey by the RSPCA also found that 73 per cent of people are now buying higher welfare chickens.

Battery cages are to be banned in the European Union from 2012.

For more information call the RSPCA on 01278 782671.

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