Bolton Council has joined top UK companies including Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer in becoming ‘Good Eggs’.
The council’s commitment to only use cage-free (barn, free-range or organic) eggs was recognised at a recent awards ceremony, at a conference, in Bournemouth.
Now in their fourth year, the Good Egg Awards have been developed by Compassion in World Farming to celebrate the commitment of companies and organisations to stop using eggs from battery caged hens.
The council’s pioneering move will ensure that hens supplying the council with eggs will be spared a life of misery in a cage. They will be free to carry out many of their natural behaviours, unlike hens kept in barren battery cage systems.
Bolton Council Leader, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We work very hard to support animal welfare and we are committed to sourcing cage free eggs. Last year our catering service, which supplies school meals and staff catering, used 50,000 eggs. Changing to barn or free-range means more than 185 hens have been saved from a caged environment.”
Bolton Council is one of a growing number of local authorities in the UK to receive a 2010 Good Egg Award. The recognition comes in the framework of Compassion in World Farming’s ‘Cage-free Councils’ campaign, which is gaining the support of a growing number of concerned citizens across Great Britain.
Compassion in World Farming’s Head of Food Business, Rowen West-Henzell said: ‘We congratulate Bolton Council for going cage-free and hope that other councils will follow their example. All local authorities have a clear opportunity to lead the way in animal welfare standards, ahead of the 2012 EU ban on barren battery cages. Central and local government offices are important users of eggs – they employ over 2.5 million staff with most providing food for employees and to supply local contracts including schools, residential units and social services. "
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has in the past encouraged public sector bodies to move away from using battery eggs whether used as shell eggs or in products containing eggs.
The issue of animal welfare in public spending has also been supported within the House of Commons. More than 150 MPs supported a motion tabled in 2008 calling on public bodies to procure food with higher standards of farm animal welfare. The motion stated that battery eggs are no longer appropriate.