Groundbreaking progress as the UK’s leading egg producer agrees to end use of cages

March 21, 2018

Six months on from The Humane League UK launching its biggest campaign yet, Noble Foods has committed to go 100% cage-free by 2025.

When we took on this industry giant in October last year, we wanted to highlight the disconnect between Noble Foods' claims of caring about animal welfare, touting its free-range brand The Happy Egg Co, while simultaneously keeping 4.3 million sentient beings in cramped, uncomfortable wire cages.

It was hard to know what to expect. We knew it would be difficult, and ultimately it would take months of protests, letter-writing, phone calls, and sheer and utter dedication from The Humane League's team of amazing volunteers to achieve it.

Halloween: zombie chickens take to the streets (Picture: Selene Ena)

In October we caged ourselves under supermarket trolleys in Asda. Halloween saw hordes of 'zombie chickens' taking to the streets to protest the horror of caging animals. We turned up on their doorstep dressed as Santa bearing Christmas gifts of coal for being naughty and made a romantic 'proposal' to go cage-free for Valentine's day.

After our protest outside Noble Foods' PR Agency Spider last week, Spider released a statement saying it "should be free to represent clients which operate entirely within the law and with high ethical standards." Just two days later, Animal Equality's latest investigation revealed the horrendous conditions in which hens were made to live on a cage farm that supplies Noble Foods. The farm was shown to be breaking the law and has since been suspended by the British Lion Quality mark. Under this light, Spider's statement rang jarringly untrue.

Day one of our 'occupation' of Noble Foods' London office

We were just two days into our week-long 'occupation' of the space outside Noble Foods' London office when we got the news that it had released a statement committing to 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.

Cage-free does not mean hens are free from suffering. Similarly, 2025 seems a long way off: changes like this take time. Nonetheless, the significance of this change is not to be understated. It's hard to visualise the tens of millions of chickens that this policy will impact over the coming years, and this will also help pave the way for many more meaningful improvements for animals in the future.

We gave it everything we had, and we couldn't have done it without our supporters and volunteers. This landmark victory would not have been possible without the help of our dedicated activists and Fast Action Network members up and down the country. This shows what people power can do, so THANK YOU for your continued efforts and support. Together, we are making a real difference to the lives of millions of animals.