PRESS RELEASE – 24-08-2008
Right on the back of the amazing medal haul collected by Team GB, the Battery Hen Welfare Trust comes up with a triumph all of its own with its 100,000th battery hen being saved from slaughter.
The lucky 100,000th hen will be taken from her cage this coming Saturday, 30th August by BHWT Rescue Co-ordinator, Michelle Garner,based in Midsomer Norton. A relatively new volunteer to the charity, Garner will be helping 200 hens on their way to a free range retirement, part of a flock of 1,200 all of whom have an adoptive home waiting. “These hens make fantastic pets and caring for them is very rewarding. It is always so heartwarming to hear feedback from adopters who are often amazed at what big characters these little birds have.” Said Garner.
The charity was formed in 2005 by Jane Howorth who set out to show the public how endearing hens can be and to improve conditions for the 18,000,000 hidden from view in cages in the UK.
The charity now has a network of 50 committed volunteers across the country who collectively have helped over 40,000 hens this year alone.
Howorth believes the key to improving hen welfare is by first understanding the egg industry and supporting British farmers, not berating them as has been the case historically. It is this pioneering approach – a world first – to the controversial caged system that has proved so successful with both supporters and industry alike. “Right from the outset I wanted to find a solution that helps British farmers as well as the birds. The key to improving conditions for laying hens lies with consumers and the BHWT encourages everyone to support British free range farmers by purchasing free range eggs.” Stated Howorth. “Frequently consumers are unaware that many processed products contain eggs from caged hens and by opting for products that contain free range eggs they can directly help take these delightful creatures out of their cages permanently.”
Such is Howorth’s success that she is shortly to receive an Award for her work from the International Fund for Animal Welfare alongside Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and charity Patron, Jamie Oliver. Howorth has also been nominated for Woman of the Year.