Cluck, Cluck, Cluck - Lib Dems and Independents Secure Switch of 25,000 Eggs To Free Range

Pepsi, Auren, Pearl, Ruby, Ascot & Butternut are six of Brentford's chickens


Full text of motion

Councillor Daker's speech

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Cllrs Caroline Andrews and Andrew Dakers with Ascot and Butternut
Cllrs Caroline Andrews and Andrew Dakers
with Ascot and Butternut

Lib Dems and Independents this week celebrated the local authority agreeing to switch from buying 25,000+ caged eggs per annum to barn or free range eggs.  In a joint campaign Cllrs Andrew Dakers and Caroline Andrews researched the issue and then put a motion to full borough council.   This aspect of their motion was passed on Tuesday night.  Cllrs Dakers and Andrews will be continuing to push for the Council to phase out food products containing unsustainable palm oil and join the Sustainable Restaurants Association to further improve standards.  The Conservative councillors responsible have committed to explore both of these issues further.

Cllr Andrew Dakers, Lib Dem Prospective MP for Brentford & Isleworth Constituency, said:

“Although prices may vary, it costs little more to produce an egg in a free-range system than an egg from a caged system. Last year London Borough Hounslow bought 25,722 eggs for meals in schools and the Civic Centre.  The switch to free range eggs will cost the Council £745 per annum.  This was not excessive in our view, for a more compassionate approach to farming.

“I have no idea the total chicken population in Hounslow, but in my ward of Brentford – amongst my constituents – are six chickens: Pepsi, Auren, Pearl, Ruby, Ascot & Butternut. As far as one can tell these chickens live a much happier life in their appropriately named Egloo and back yard.

“By making this switch the Council has given its endorsement to the hard work and campaigning of Compassion in World Farming.  The council’s commitment will be recognised with the receipt of a 'Good Egg Award'.”

Cllr Caroline Andrews, Independent Community Group councillor for Syon Ward, added:

“Caged hens suffer greatly in their short lives. They are unable to carry out natural behaviours, such as foraging and dust bathing, or even flapping their wings.  The House of Commons, City Hall and over 40 local authorities already had a policy of sourcing only barn or free-range eggs in their catering facilities.  Like Hounslow, they recognised it is important to support cage-free farming systems, rather than battery farming.

“With support of the whole council I am delighted London Borough of Hounslow will be sourcing barn or free-range systems for schools and the Civic Centre from the start of the 2010/11 financial year.”

February 2, 2010

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