Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare League, a non-profit organisation, has commenced a nationwide campaign to ban the use of battery cages in poultry farming in Ghana. 

The group, which has so far garnered over two hundred signatures from poultry farmers and other animal welfare activists in the country, says caging fowls is an abuse.

They want the adoption of a cage-free poultry farming system as they believe it could facilitate growth and production of poultry.  

President - Animal Welfare, Daniel Abiliba

President of the Association, Daniel Abiliba, says consumers must care to know the source of the birds they consume. 

“Imagine living your entire life, 52 weeks or more on a space likened to an A4 sheet of paper. In battery caging and all forms of factory farming that uses restrictive housing systems, these animals are being abused. As consumers, we need to worry about where our animals are coming from,” he said. 

Retailing poultry has been a source of livelihood for Achiama for nearly a decade now. 

As one of the sole vendors at the Ayigya market, she sources her animals from various farms in and around the Ashanti region.  

The live birds upon arrival from the farms are kept in her makeshift cage on the streets of the market. 

“Some of the hens, especially the white ones aren’t active. Theirs is just to eat and drink water,” she said. 

Chicken production rose from 20.5 million to 74.5 million over the last two decades of which more than 25 million are reportedly housed in traditional battery cages in Ghana.   

These fowls are reared for their meat and eggs and are confined in cages. 

Abena Kwaadu, also a vendor, believes the restricted animals are rarely infested with diseases. 

“It’s not good to leave them to walk about. They can be infested with diseases. You only need to feed them and they will be okay,” she said.  

Aside from the torture the caged animals are subjected to, veterinary doctor, Dr. Emmanuel Piiru, says caging contributes to the growing record of antimicrobial resistance in the poultry industry. 

“When you keep the birds in the battery cage systems, they are prone to diseases such as Osteoporosis and layer fatigue. A more disturbing case is that, when such birds are sick we tend to offer them antibiotics. This is part of reasons that is contributing to antimicrobial resistance,” he said. 

Presently, Ghana has no legislation banning the use of battery cages. 

Only six countries, including the EU and US, across the globe have imposed bans on battery cages in poultry farming. 

The group is preparing to lay a petition before parliament for the adoption of cage-free farming.   

“At the moment, we are gathering signatories to present to parliament and government to consider banning any forms of cages in Ghana. We are hoping that when we appear before them they will consider the petition and ban cage housing systems in Ghana,” President of the Association said. 

A survey conducted in Accra-Ghana revealed that 47.6% of respondents preferred free-range eggs to eggs produced by hens in confined conditions.  

CEO of Borris B Chicken and President of Poultry Farmers Association- Ashanti branch, Borris Baidoo, says free-range eggs are nutritious, hence the advocacy for the adoption of cage-free farming.  

“Because of the greens around, the birds consume them. These contains minerals to make the eggs produced healthier. When you go to Europe, we have the free range eggs costing higher than the caged eggs. Let’s not waste monies buying cages,” he said. 

Veterinary doctor, Dr. Emmanuel Piiru

Leadership of the Ashanti regional branch of the Ghana Poultry Farmers Association are hoping to extend the education to other farmers. 

“We as an association are going to carry it on just so people know how important it is to rear birds in a free-range system. I have already started this, talking to people to refrain from the cages. Cages are not the way to go,” Borris Baidoo said. 

So far 41 farmers in the region have signed up to the cage-free farmers’ network. 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.