This month, we are incredibly proud to announce that we have officially affiliated with a French charity named Champs Libres aux Poules (CLaP), which literally means free fields for hens. We hope that this new charity will touch hearts and minds in France just as the British Hen Welfare Trust has created a groundswell of interest in the UK, raising awareness for hen welfare, promoting hens as pets and making a significant impact on shopping habits with free-range eggs sales growing steadily since we began in 2005.
Discussions about a possible affiliation started in early 2020 between Jane Howorth, BHWT Founder and long term BHWT enthusiast and supporter, Heidi Carneau, CLaP President. By early autumn CLaP was hatched and since then over 7,000 French hens have already flown to freedom with nearly 20 pop-up rehoming points already established in the Toulouse region.
Work continues daily to develop the fledgling charity with valuable input from BHWT staff and volunteers guiding its growth. Already media interest has reached national levels and more pop-up rehoming sites are being set up.
Heidi first learned of the BHWT when she moved to the British countryside and adopted hens, quickly becoming an ardent supporter and fundraiser for the charity. Heidi says “I have been crazy about animals since birth. Once I adopted hens I quickly became attached to them and that was enough motivation to start my own charity, CLaP, after moving to France in 2019.”
Champs Libres aux Poules has its own Governing Board; Heidi as President with two members attending from the BHWT: Jane Howorth MBE, Founder, and Alasdair Cameron, Head of Corporate Services, and whilst the BHWT has allowed CLaP to use branding similar to its own, CLaP is an affiliate partner and not a sub-brand.
Jane says “I am absolutely over the moon to be working with Heidi and Champs Libres aux Poules and most of all to be taking the opportunity to help hens in France enjoy a retirement. French attitudes towards animal welfare are softening and we want our lovely French hens to work their magic in changing hearts and minds across the entire country.”
We will, of course, keep you posted on our new French friends and hope you feel as proud as we do that together we have made the leap across the channel to make helping French hens a reality. We could not have achieved this without your support, thank you.