Wed Dec 10 2008 Animal Protection Groups Placing Rescued Hens into Permanent Homes
A rescue effort by local animal protection groups has saved 650 hens from a California egg farm. The hens were rescued on Friday and Saturday from battery cages and will soon be placed in permanent homes. Coordinating the effort was Animal Place, a farmed-animal sanctuary and education center in Vacaville, about 45 miles northeast of San Francisco. Kim Sturla, Animal Place's director, is working with other local organizations to find homes for the hens. These groups include Marin Humane Society, Sacramento SPCA and Sonoma Humane Society. Although California voters recently approved a measure that will phase out battery cages and other intensive-confinement devices, that law will not take effect until 2015. Meanwhile, nearly 19 million hens languish in battery cages in California, making these 650 hens especially lucky. All the birds rescued were considered “spent” hens. The egg industry deems a hen “spent” when her egg production has dropped and it’s no longer economically viable to continue feeding her, typically after two years.