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September 19, 2011

Happy Hens Farm is First Indian Egg Producer to Label Eggs “Free Range”

HSI Applauds the Move

Humane Society International/India

BANGALORE, India—Humane Society International praised Happy Hens Farm for helping egg consumers make more animal welfare friendly choices by becoming the first Indian producer to label its eggs as “free-range,” as an indication of their hens’ high welfare and space allowances.

The majority of egg-laying hens in India spend their lives crowded into cages so small, the birds lack sufficient space to walk or even stretch their wings. Happy Hens Farm can label their eggs as free-range because the hens on their farm can move about freely within a large yard or take cover in a spacious indoor enclosure, and can engage in natural behaviour such as foraging outdoors, perching, and nesting.

“At Happy Hens Farm, we believe that we have the responsibility to provide these animals every opportunity to express natural behaviour,” said Manjunath Marappan, the farm’s co-founder. “We welcome all our customers to visit our farms.”

Happy Hens Farm’s decision to implement higher animal welfare standards comes on the heels of a growing movement against battery cage egg production and farm animal cruelty within the country. Hotels including Crowne Plaza Today-Gurgaon, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai and Hotel Ramada Plaza New Delhi, as well as specialty restaurant Hao Shi Nian Nian and celebrity chef Mako Ravindran have ended their procurement of eggs from caged hens.

“Humane Society International urges consumers to avoid purchasing battery-cage eggs” said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI's factory farming campaign in India. “By labelling their eggs as free-range, Happy Hens Farm provides Indian consumers with the information they need to make a better choice.”

Facts

  • India’s factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in barren battery cages, where each bird lives within a space smaller than a single standard sized sheet of paper.
  • Factory farms that confine more than 50,000 birds within a single shed are becoming increasingly common in India’s fast-growing agricultural economy.

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Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, one of the world's largest animal protection organizations - backed by 11 million people. HSI is creating a better future for animals and people through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—On the Web at hsi.org.

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