On Thursday, Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South, attended the Beatrice’s Bill reception in Parliament hosted by Henry Smith MP, focused on banning cages for laying hens in the UK.
‘Beatrice’s Bill’, also known as the Hen Caging (Prohibition) Bill, is Henry Smith MP’s Private Members Bill launched in September 2021 and named after the rescue hen at the centre of a campaign coordinated by Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, The Humane League and RSPCA which aims to see the UK end cages for egg laying hens.
Ending cages for laying hens will secure numerous benefits, including:
- Higher welfare standards through ensuring hens have more space to perform natural behaviours such as nesting, foraging and dust bathing.
- Greater consumer confidence through lowering food safety risk. Cage free hens suffer from lower rates of diseases.
- Closer alignment with the sentiment of UK business. All major retailers have now committed to going cage free by at least 2025, and many have already made this transition.
- Closer alignment with the sentiment of UK consumers. The Beatrice’s Bill campaign petition attracted more than 91,000 signatures after just six months, reflecting a deep public concern for the welfare of British hens.
More information on the Beatrice’s Bill campaign can be found here.
Matt Vickers said:
“I have pledged my support for #BeatricesBill, the campaign to end cages for laying hens in the UK. We must act now and end the suffering of the 16 million laying hens in the UK who are raised in tiny cages each year, with hardly enough room to stretch their wings. By ending this suffering our legislation can be more closely aligned with the sentiment of retailers, and the wider British public.”