Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is again asking Countdown to ‘show the hens some love’ by ending cage eggs sales, and is urging consumers to sign a message in an oversized Valentine’s card today.
The action will take place between 12 and 1pm in front of Countdown Auckland Metro, 19-25 Victoria st. SAFE volunteers will be joined by TV personality Suzanne Paul.

Countdown’s owners Woolworths Australia had announced their commitment to stop selling cage eggs by 2018, and in late December SAFE sparked a social media campaign asking Countdown to follow in the footsteps. As a result, hundreds of messages were posted on the company’s Facebook page. Countdown promptly responded with a lengthy post, underlining that there were not enough suppliers in New Zealand to go entirely free range. Abi Izzard, campaigns officer of SAFE, said Countdown should listen to its customers.

“Other companies, both here and internationally, have expressed the same concerns but have managed to do it, such as McDonald’s New Zealand, so we believe it is achievable,” said Izzard. “To keep hens confined to cages, unable to carry our an array of natural behaviours, is one of the worst forms of cruelty. As a major purchaser of animal products Countdown is in a position to help improve the welfare of layer hens, and do something that their customers will support.”