To follow up on our article on intensive farming dated April 7, entitled: Intensive breeding in France: a new shocking report , let's take a look at another form of breeding giving rise to so much suffering: the breeding of hens on the ground.
On Wednesday April 21, the L214 association unveiled in a video shot in farms in Côtes-d'Armor and Vendée the living conditions of these animals. We see 30,000 poultry piled up on shelves in a closed building, deprived of openings and natural light. In the group, many of them appear plucked, dying or dead whose entrails are pecked by the other hens.
This breeding method is booming and as the association explains, "it has doubled its production in five years following the abandonment of caged chicken eggs by supermarkets", what we called code 3 eggs.
The term "ground hen farming" is incorrect and does not reflect the exact situation. Quite the contrary. It suggests that the breeding conditions are good and far removed from what animals undergo in intensive breeding. This creates confusion for the consumer. Confusion very largely maintained thanks to a clever packaging with rewarding slogans such as “good from home” or “terroir” that the association qualifies as “pastoral imagery of packaging” totally out of step with reality. Packaging with the words "good from home" or "terroir"
However, the reality is quite different and the association reminds us of it with supporting images: "all the characteristics of intensive farming": "closed buildings several tens of meters long, filled with metal structures of several floors, without straw or litter, stress and diseases causing "pecking" between hens and cannibalism, sick or injured birds left without care, corpses left among the hens ".
Presented by the egg industry (CNPO) as a satisfactory alternative to cages, the association retorts and qualifies ground farming: “an illusion of an alternative”.
Asked by AFP, the president of the inter-professional organization Philippe Juven recalls that the sector has been working since 2016 on alternatives to cages. "Few of the buildings" cages ", which, when they are transformed, have enough land for the outdoors", he justifies, criticizing L214 "which wants the abolition of breeding" and adding: “There are 48 million laying hens in France. If we were to put them all outdoors or organically, we would need more than 20,000 ha of course, that would not be possible ” , taking the opportunity to highlight the fact that consumers are also attentive to price.
It's true, everything has a price. It is up to each of us to determine which one we are willing to pay to make cruelty disappear.