Washingtonians Call for Anti-Battery Cage Measure

To understand just how confining a battery cage is for egg-laying hens, you need to imagine yourself and a couple other people living inside a bathtub without ever being allowed to stand, walk or stretch your arms.  Add to that miniscule space the additional daily activities of eating and excreting.  Do you get the picture?

This is exactly what battery-caged hens endure for the duration of their severely shortened lives.  It’s not pretty.

Farm Sanctuary’s undercover video of Gemperle Farms, a California factory farm, helped voters pass the precedent-setting Proposition 2 in 2008.   As horrible as it is to watch, it is important you share it with others to spread the truth about the cruelty of battery cages.

Farm Sanctuary’s Director and Co-Founder, Gene Baur, knows how slow the road to change is for farm animals.  A firm believer in new laws as an impetus to change, Baur devotes a lot of his time with Farm Sanctuary to traveling the country and working at the grassroots level.

“The first step,” he told me, “is getting people to think animals on farms have feelings.  Once the public truly understands this fact, they can send a statement to industry that factory farming is wrong and must be changed.”

A coalition of animal advocates named Washingtonians for Humane Farms in the state of Washington are working closely with Baur and Farm Sanctuary to get an initiative called the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act on the November ballot.

The proposed initiative calls not just for a ban on battery cages, but also on the sale of eggs from battery-caged hens.  Petitions will be circulated to Washington residents.
Political change is often agonizingly slow.  Baur understands the process and has the patience and tenacity to work within the system for the benefit of farm animals. 

While recognizing this ballot initiative is a small first step in educating the public, he pragmatically understands that change has to start that way. “Asking to give battery-caged hens enough room to move and stretch is a far cry from achieving complete cruelty-free conditions – but it is a start,” says Baur.

Farm Sanctuary’s anti-confinement campaigns have achieved some successes in California and Michigan.  They have also worked on gestational and veal crate issues in Florida, Arizona, Ohio and Oregon.   To see how you can get involved with changing laws in your state, take a look at Farm Sanctuary’s website.

Related Stories: 

HSUS Uncovers Violations at Battery Cage Factory Farm

Perdue Chicken Faces Lawsuit Over Misleading Humanely Raised Label (VIDEO)

Urban Chickens Moving from Barnyards to Your Backyard


Flickr: Steven W


Michelle BLANC7 years ago

En France nous avons également des élevages de poules en batterie,pour ne pas cautionner ce mode d'élevage très cruel, nous militons, prévenons les gens sur les conditions de vie des poules en leur demandant de n'acheter que des oeufs issus d'élevage en plein air ou bio de préférence et de ne jamais acheter des oeufs de batteries codés sous le n°3,N"hésitez pas à vous mobiliser en contactant les magasins pour leur demander de ne plus vendre d'oeufs issus de ces élevages concentrationnels

Nancy N.
Nancy N.7 years ago

That farm in Riverside, Closed in 1991, do you have any more updated information, like in the last oh 20 years..the chickens can stand, turn spread their wings, and enriched colonies are they could do swan lake in those cages all at the same time. Chickens usually don't normally stand up and turn around at the same time.

anita TUCK7 years ago

Jamie Oliver, the British chef, first brought the disgusting and cruel facts about battery chickens to my attention. Good for him.... with his huge viewership, he must have reached a lot of people, one of whom was me... I've bought free range chickens ever since. I never cease to be amazed at the lengths to which greed will drive human beings, regardless of the suffering of animals, birds, etc.

Oana C.
Oana C7 years ago

Noted and forwarded!

Nic F.
Nic F.7 years ago

I pay a Euro extra for eggs from hens who can run free in a field and roost wherever they want to, I think it is worth it. I wish ALL eggs were produced this way.

Alex H.
Alex H7 years ago

Gene Baur,you deserve that medal,the highest honour awarded in the USA,for the work you do to try and change the wretched lives of factory-farmed animals.I first saw a battery chicken shed in 1968,and I ran out and was sick!I couldn't believe that beautiful sociable hens could be kept in such cruel deprivation and overcrowded cages!Just to supply people with eggs!Now,if eggs are such an essential commodity,surely the providers deserve more respect and dignity!?I have always rescued battery hens and to see them enjoy the sun, their first dust bath and their first proper perch,brings a lump to one's throat!Do people realise how their takeaway chicken is raised?In crowded,airless,artificially-lit,ammonia-filled sheds where many cannot reach the food (GM??)and water due to territorialism,and die unless they can peck at the dead carcass near them??They are bred to grow so fast that their legs won't hold them up!?Do you really want to eat something like this?The only reason all this horror is happening is because of consumer demand for cheap food!!Take a moral stand and demand free range eggs and meat!!If enough people do this,things will have to change.

Manuela C.
Manuela C7 years ago


April Thompson
April Thompson7 years ago

Noted and thanks!

Loo Samantha
Loo sam7 years ago

thanks for the article.

Loretta P.
Loretta P7 years ago

This video is one of the most disturbing I've ever seen. That cruelty to this extent is allowed is deplorable. No living creature should be subject to these conditions. Battery cages should be banned everywhere.