On 11 June 2021, FVE adopted the following position paper on laying hens and the need to move a cage-free farmining systems.
Enriched cages are receiving increasing scrutiny as they restrict the ability of laying hens to perform inherent behaviours and thereby enjoy positive experiences and a Good Life. Some countries and several retailers have already made cage-free commitments.
The veterinary profession should provide leadership in the transition from enriched cages to alternative systems by providing guidance on improving the welfare of laying hens in current alternative systems and by contributing to the development of better alternatives.
The transition should be gradual with a reasonable (but not excessive) transition period.
Care should be taken that the newly advised systems are future proof in terms of meeting the animals’ physical, mental and behavioural needs, ensure food safety, have low dependency on veterinary medicines and are viable from a socio-economic and environmental perspective.