Four Paws is urging shoppers to check labels carefully when buying cakes, biscuits and other confectionary to make sure any eggs used are from birds who haven’t been confined in a cage.
Some brands on sale in British supermarkets already use cage free eggs such as Mr Kipling cakes as do all own-brand cakes at Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative, Waitrose and M&S.
Many other brands have yet to make the pledge to move to using only cage free eggs.
Egg laying hens are one of the few types of farm animal in the UK that, on some farms, are still kept in close-confinement cage systems for all of their productive lives.
Four Paws is concerned that hens can’t carry out all of their important natural behaviours properly in such an environment.
All laying hens should ideally be kept in well-managed free-range or barn systems to enable them to perform all their natural behaviours.
Angelique Davies, spokesperson for Four Paws, says: “Four Paws is celebrating the growing choice for consumers wishing to indulge in cake without contributing to the suffering of the millions of hens who are still kept in battery cages.
Around half the hens in the UK are still housed in cages. If it doesn’t specify on the ingredient list that the eggs are free-range or barn, you can assume they are likely to have come from cages.
“We’re really making headway on this issue, with growing numbers of retailers and manufacturers pledging to use only cage-free eggs, there’s plenty of choice for consumers to shop ethically.”
Four Paws is also campaigning for the egg labelling laws to be extended to include egg ingredient in products like cake so that companies using cage eggs will have to make that clear on the label.
A poll commissioned by Four Paws showed that 69 per cent of consumers think that all food products containing eggs should be labelled to indicate the production system that the eggs came from.