Compassion in World Farming needs your help. It only takes 10 minutes to write an email and send it to Ms Matlou Setati, the Chief Food Safety & Quality Assurance Officer, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Dear Ms Setati
Thank you for accepting our letters of concern over the issue of labeling caged eggs correctly.
We refer to Regulations regarding the grading, packing and marking of eggs destined for sale in the Republic of South Africa: Amendment.
We know that conscious consumers do not need to remind you of the Consumer Protection Act that states that South African consumers have a right to informed choice. What we do seemingly need to remind government officials about is the need to enforce this law and to encourage the protection of consumers above the demands of industry.
Caged chickens or “battery” chickens were banned in Europe by 2012, sadly it would seem that this is yet another animal welfare issue that South Africa is lagging behind on. Could we therefore, at the very least, ensure that consumers that do not wish to fund this cruelty be able to distinguish clearly by correct labeling that states “cage eggs”.
Thus we request you to revert to the earlier amendment which stipulates that the word ‘cage’ must precede ‘eggs’ on packing if the eggs comes from hens in cages or batteries.
Sonia de Villiers
Grass Consumer Action
Please feel free to share your letters with us and we will also pass them onto CIWF
Dear Ms Setati,
I do not wish to eat nor feed my family and friends eggs from chickens that have no natural life and are confined to a cage. It is not just about the anti-biotics and the processed feed that they are fed which makes them less than healthy to eat. It is about my choice not to support a cruel industry that has little to no regard for the suffering of a living, feeling creature. Mahatma Gandhi said: “You can judge the morality of a nation by the way the society treats its animals” If we have no concern for the welfare of the birds and animals that produce protein for us – what will stop us from progressing to treating fellow humans without respect and compassion.
I appeal to you to enforce the labelling of eggs from caged chickens. That way consumers can choose compassionate pasture raised chickens over cruel cages. We live in a democracy. What meaning does democracy have if we do not even have the right to choose what we eat.
Please demonstrate that you respect the right of South Africans to be free to choose, that you honour the right of animals and birds to live a life that is free of cruelty and that you acknowledge our God given duty to ensure compassionate treatment of all living creatures in our care.
Please know that many South Africans are relying on you not to bow down to pressure from industry but rather to act in the best interests of the health of South Africans and with compassion for chickens. Banning cages is best, but labelling cage produced eggs is an essential interim measure.
Background to this letter here