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'Delight' at caged-egg-free Countdown

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/03/2017

Animal rights campaigners are delighted Countdown supermarkets has promised to stop selling caged eggs by 2025.

The supermarket chain was flooded with messages requesting a halt to all cage egg sales after a Serious Fraud Office investigation was launched into supplier Palace Poultry, who have been accused of selling caged eggs as free-range.

All North Island Countdown franchises will cease to sell caged eggs by 2024, and the rest of New Zealand by 2025, the company announced this week.

Animal rights advocacy group SAFE says it's a massive win for Kiwis who've shown their opposition.

"It's the beginning of the end of caged hen farming," SAFE campaigns director Mandy Carter said.

Countdown is the first supermarket chain to take the step.

"This will make a significant difference for caged hens ... No farmer with common sense would now invest in the new cruel colony cages," Ms Carter said.

The SFO investigation of Palace Poultry came to light earlier this month claiming the company may have included eggs from caged hens in supplies of free-range eggs from its Ararimu farm.

"A huge number of people are willing to pay more for free range-eggs with the expectation that they're supporting a healthier and cruelty-free environment for hens,"Green Party MP Mojo Mathers said.

"Caged egg producers should not be benefiting from the premium that free-range products command."

Woolworths, the Australian corporation who owns Countdown, had already pledged to be cage-free by 2025.

Countdown pulled all Palace Poultry eggs from its shelves as soon as revelation came to light this month.

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