Saturday, March 25, 2023

Kenyan Animal Lobby Group Campaign Against Chicken Caging

Animal welfare advocates in Kenya are campaigning against the battery cage system of poultry management for commercial purposes. The system has been banned in Europe due to concerns for the welfare of the birds, but is beginning to gain popularity in Africa.

Grace Achieng’s 1,400 chickens have been her source of income for the past one year. Achieng says that friends who keep such birds introduced him to this system of wire cages for chickens.

The system is called a battery cage, from the arrangement of rows of identical cages linked together like an artillery battery.

For farmers like Achieng, these cages are the easiest way to raise chickens, as opposed to traditional free range.

“You can imagine the stress of walking, picking up eggs between birds or even if they are near where they are hatching, laying eggs, you might even find something dirty. So yes, the birds should be released at free range, but those experts should realize again that the technology is coming, and so is the battery cage,” she said.

However, animal welfare groups are campaigning against the battery cage technology, which they say is infringing on the welfare of birds.

Dennis Bhati, program manager for the Africa Network for Animal Welfare, told VOA that the technology, which is rapidly gaining popularity in Kenya, is compromising the health of birds.

“So, these birds are kept in an area where they cannot express their natural behaviour, and because of this, some of their natural behaviour, such as flapping their wings, is actually largely restricted.” “The flip side, because of confinement and not being able to exercise these birds, they are at risk of a condition called osteoporosis, where their bones are very fragile, and in fact they are at risk of ever fracture.”

Kenya’s poultry sector is not explicitly regulated, but state officials say the poultry farming bill, which aims to ensure poultry welfare, is due to become law in six months.

Mwangi Kiai is the Assistant Director of the Kenya Veterinary Service.

“The regulation also gives guidelines on how birds should be transported from source to market, even to the slaughter site. With those tasks, a government inspector will be placed with the chain,” he said.

In June, the European Parliament voted to ban the battery cage system of poultry management within the next six years.

Kenyan officials and animal welfare advocates are having a tough time convincing hundreds of poultry farmers like Achieng to give up the technology.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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