From Iceland — New Day Dawning For Chickens

New Day Dawning For Chickens

Published March 4, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons/Maqi

The days of confinement in cramped cages for egg-laying hens will, by 2021, be a thing of the past.

Vísir reports that changing animal welfare laws, as well as abiding by European regulations on the treatment of animals, is gradually making life slightly less horrible for the country’s domesticated animals. Amongst the changes to come down the road will be the end of battery cages (shown above).

Þóra Jóhanna Jónasdóttir, a veterinarian at the Icelandic Food And Veterinary Authority (MAST), believes the changing regulations are in keeping with the changing attitudes people have towards animals.

“New animal welfare laws went into effect in 2014, and with them, it was finally recognised that animals are sentient beings,” she told reporters. “Of course, we can do better, but there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on animal welfare lately, especially regarding their personal freedom.”

The ban on “traditional” means of keeping egg-laying hens, i.e., “battery cages”, is to go into effect in 2021. In the meantime, it is possible to buy free-range hens’ eggs in Iceland (“undan frjálsum hænum”, as they are usually labelled), although some have pointed out that the definition of “free range” is often loosely interpreted.

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