From Ag. Scene (December 1985 edition):
One of Britain's most intensive battery farms is run by the Convent
of the Order of the Passion of Jesus near Daventry, Northamptonshire.
10,000 hens are cramped, 6 at a time, into tiny cages under artificial
Mother Superior Katherine said "we are very proud of the
egg production from our 10,000 hens which is now among the highest per
bird in the country. We have used the money to build a chapel, to
support ourselves and to offer the Convent as a retreat to people. We
are proud of our standards here. If our chickens were not happy they
would not lay so many eggs." This argument doesn't even hold water.
Every committe that has examined this claim has refuted it. Productivity
is no indicator of welfare. The sheer weight of nutritional and genetic
science behind modern hybrids compels them to lay, and they have been
shown to lay well under any system of housing.
One of the nun's
main critics is the Dean of Westminster, the Rev. Edward Carpenter,
chairman of the Christian Consultative Committee for the Welfare of
Animals. He recently said, "It is cruel. These poor hens are being
robbed of their dignity. They have been converted into egg-laying
machines for simple profit. I am totally against the keeping of battery
hens. I would have thought that any religious
thanks to Compassion in World Farming.
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