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Gardeners urged to save four million hens from slaughter4 January 2012
A charity this week issued an urgent plea to Amateur Gardening readers to adopt hens for their gardens – after it emerged up to FOUR MILLION birds will head to slaughterhouses this month.
An EU directive means that battery cages must be abolished in the UK by January. All birds have to be removed from their tiny cages before New Year.
The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), which has so far re-homed nearly 300,000 commercial laying hens, believes that millions of battery hens will be needlessly killed.
BHWT founder Jane Howorth said: “While it is great news that the era of barren cages is coming to an end, the sad news is that many of the hens who have lived all their lives in tiny cages will be slaughtered by Christmas unless we can find homes for them.”
Jane said hen-keeping was a rewarding hobby for families. “Keeping hens requires time, but isn’t difficult. Hens come fully vaccinated and the vast majority are healthy and laying well.
“The hens sometimes look a bit threadbare but usually start to re-feather within a few weeks. They’re bred for docility and are gentle, endearing, inquisitive and friendly. All are hardy birds so as long as they have good weather protection, they are fine to be kept in the winter months.”
Gardeners interested in adopting hens should call the BHWT on & (01769) 580310 as soon as possible. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to bhwt.org.uk for details of re-homing locations and dates.