Press Release – SAFE
More than 2,000 Wellington residents have signed their support for the central city Chaffers Park New World supermarket to go ‘cage-free’ and remove cage eggs from shelves.
At midday today, members from the Wellington SAFE volunteer group will meet Chaffers Park New World manager Brent Doile to present the 2,000-plus signature petition, asking for the store to commit to a phase-out of cage eggs from shelves, and in the meantime, improve the labelling of the eggs.
“If the store agrees to phase out cage eggs, Wellington will be well on its way to being the first city in New Zealand to go completely cage free,” says SAFE Wellington coordinator Michael Steele. “Now that would really be something to crow about!” he says.
A passionate group of SAFE volunteers has been collecting signatures, and Mr Steele says the high level of support has been gratifying.
“We’ve been inspired by how much Wellingtonians care, and want something done about this issue. We believe the level of support we’ve seen is a clear indicator that local people are eager to do away with cage eggs.”
Despite the rise in free-range consumption, eighty-eight per cent of eggs in New Zealand still come from cage systems. With an individual floor space smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, a hen can never express simple natural behaviours such as walking, stretching her wings, pecking and scratching, or dust-bathing.
While seeking a legal ban on battery and colony cages for layer hens, Mr Steele says SAFE is also working to raise consumer awareness, and appealing to retailers to move away from stocking or using cruel cage eggs. SAFE groups around New Zealand are currently working on lobbying their local supermarkets.
“Everyone can play their part,” says Mr Steele. “There are, in fact, already supermarkets in New Zealand that have removed cage eggs from their shelves, and have found that it did not affect their sales at all. We aim to encourage this trend.
“We believe phasing out cage eggs altogether will add an extra feather to their cap and enhance this store’s reputation.”