Long way to Change...Chickens Abandoned in Long Hours
Egg laying hens get slaughtered in a year or two after their egg production slows down.
They are used for frozen foods or canned meat.
These chickens go through long hours of transportation, then, get abandoned for a long period of time at slaughterhouses.
We've been working with concerned parties to improve this since 2017 after we investigated this situation.
As a result, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery (MAFF) issued a notification to relevant parties to improve the situation on March 26th 2018.
At the same time, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) gave the notification, and the Ministry of Environment issued an announcement in relation to this, as well.
However, the investigation done by the Animal Rights Center revealed that the situation has not changed at all as of June.
The Committee on Health and Welfare of the House of Representatives
On June 6th, two months since the notification had been released, Mr. Hatsushika inquired about the issue of egg laying hens being abandoned for long hours at the Committee on Health and Welfare of the House of Representatives.
According to the answer given by the MHLW, they would investigate to understand the situation going forward.
... The MHLW issued a notification to the prefectures to confirm if the guideline of slaughterhouses for chickens is met. If shipping is not delivered in a well-planned manner, there is retention time for these birds, in which case birds on the upper rack release feces that contaminate those in the lower rack.
It has been two months since the notification was issued. We will investigate the situation going forward to make sure if the notification is observed.
However, this answer is somewhat concerning as the issue is rather emphasized around the contamination due to feces than the long hours of abandonment.
They don't seem to obey the animal welfare standards set by the OIE.
The Committee on Environment of the House of Representatives
Upon the notification issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery, the Ministry of Environment also made an "announcement." It's as though they are saying just making the announcement is enough for now.
To prove this point, it was the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery, not the Ministry of Environment, who answered questions by Mr. Horikoshi at the Committee on Environment of the House of Representative on June 8th.
... since the notification was released, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery has been spreading the word to members of the concerned entities via their publicity papers to make sure they understand the notification.
Also, there has been communication between the groups of egg producers and the chicken slaughterhouses to discuss the need of well-planned shipment.
We will continue to work with relevant parties to assure the notification.
The suffering of chickens is still continuing today.
The Animal Rights Center doesn't think it is solely the fault of these slaughterhouses.
It's also on the chicken farms that need to improve their shipment scheme, which they currently don't plan well.
Egg hens who produce 300 eggs a year for humans are totally worn out.
It is unnatural to release nutrients equivalent to the size of 3% of their body everyday.
If this were a human, a 50kg man would release 1.5 kg of good nutrients everyday.
On top of that, the chickens don’t ever see the sun, don't move, have nothing to do, and eat the same food everyday. Their bodies rub against the metals in the cages, so they break their bones and lose feathers. They are mentally and physically unhealthy.
These birds are shipped in ways that they will end up being abandoned for long hours. The egg farmers do know this fact and yet they still do it.
We hope the situation will immediately improve in a concrete manner.
Please act for animals
Change how you consume
- Stop buying eggs and egg products in Japan. Don't buy eggs from free-range or cage-free farmers who use slaughterhouses (they do in most cases).
- Don't buy frozen food or canned food with chicken products in/of Japan.
- Don't buy Japanese eggs or processed food with chickens.
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