Happy 10th Birthday To The British Hen Welfare Trust

CharityLocal News

A charity set up to educate the public about laying hen welfare celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  

The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), best known for its re-homing initiative, has found pet homes for over 450,000 commercial laying hens destined for slaughter since it was established in 2005.  Ronda Morritt, local volunteer for the charity, is delighted the BHWT has reached this first milestone birthday and be part of the celebrations: “When I decided I wanted to keep chickens, I looked on online to see if I could re-home any ex-bats hens. I found the British Hen Welfare Trust, but my nearest collection point was in Lancashire.  It got me wondering – ‘Why wasn’t there a collection point in Yorkshire?’ Anyway to cut a long story short, one night whilst laid in bed, I decided to put myself forward to the BHWT to be their collection point for Yorkshire and the rest is history! I’m so excited to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary and I can’t believe later this year the charity may even re-home its half millionth hen!”

As well as finding homes for hens, the charity educates the public on how they can make a difference to hen welfare through their shopping basket and encourages people to check the food labels. Ronda commented: “I always bought free range eggs, but until I started volunteering for the BHWT, I hadn’t really considered that eggs from caged birds are used in many other things, such as lasagne sheets, mayonnaise, cakes etc. It has certainly taught me to be a much savvier shopper.”

Increased consumer awareness has led to big names switching policy to free range eggs, such as Marks & Spencer who led the way in 2002 and Hellmanns who started using free range eggs in their ubiquitous mayonnaise from 2011.  Policy changes such as these have improved the quality of life for tens of thousands of hens; consumer clout at its most powerful according to the charity.

Ronda urges everyone to consider adopting ex-bat hens, explaining: “Ex Battery hens were the first hens I ever got when I started chicken keeping. They are such wonderful, friendly, non-flighty girls who make us laugh every single day. We even have one that comes to the house and roosts beside the wood burner in the kitchen. She does this, as when we first got her, she had a poorly leg and she recouped for a few weeks by the wood burner in the kitchen – she now thinks she lives there!”

To find out more about the charity or register to re-home a few ex commercial hens visit www.bhwt.org.uk or follow us on facebook www.facebook.com/britishhenwelfaretrust or Twitter @BHWTofficial


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