Ethisch vertretbare Eierproduktion in Europa

PRINCETON – Vor vierzig Jahren stand ich mit ein paar anderen Studierenden an einer belebten Straße in Oxford und verteilte Flugblätter, mit denen wir gegen die Batteriehaltung von Hühnern protestierten. Die meisten Menschen, die ein Flugblatt entgegennahmen, hatten keine Ahnung, dass ihre Eier von Hühnern stammten, die in so kleine Käfige eingepfercht waren, dass sich nicht einmal ein Huhn ausstrecken oder mit den Flügeln schlagen konnte – obwohl in solchen Käfigen normalerweise vier Hühner untergebracht waren. Die Tiere konnten sich niemals frei bewegen oder ihre Eier in Nester legen.

Viele Menschen begrüßten damals unseren jugendlichen Idealismus, sagten aber auch, dass wir keine Hoffnung haben sollten, damit die Praktiken eines großen Wirtschaftszweiges ändern zu können. Da irrten sie sich.

Ab dem 1. Januar 2012 ist die Haltung von Legehennen in solchen Käfigen verboten. Dies nicht nur in Großbritannien, sondern in allen 27 Ländern der Europäischen Union. Die Hühner dürfen zwar noch immer in Käfigen gehalten werden, aber sie müssen über mehr Platz verfügen und die Käfige haben mit Legenestern und einer Sitzstange ausgestattet zu sein. Im letzten Monat stellte die Tierschutzorganisation British Hen Welfare Trust einer Henne, die „Liberty“ genannt wurde, ein neues Zuhause zur Verfügung. Sie war eine der letzten Hennen in Großbritannien, die noch in Käfigen lebten, gegen die wir aufgetreten waren.

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