A CHARITY set up to educate the public about battery hen welfare is to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

The British Hen Welfare Trust, which has a branch based in Haslingden, is best known for its re-homing initiative.


The charity which celebrates the milestone on Wednesday, has found homes for more than 450,000 commercial battery hens destined for slaughter since it was established in 2005.

The anniversary has been welcomed by poultry groups in East Lancashire including the Ribble Valley Poultry Society.

Jane Howorth, the trust’s founder, said: “I am thrilled to be celebrating our 10th anniversary, and to have found homes for so many hens and introduced people to the joys of keeping our lovely ex-battery hens.

“Of course we could not have achieved this without our wonderful team of more than 300 volunteers around the UK– they have worked so hard to help so many hens.

“We could not have reached this point without the trust of the farmers who let us take their birds.

“I am particularly proud of our relationship with the egg industry, it has taken time to build trust, but I believe farmers now understand that we, too, want to see a strong and successful UK egg industry that values high welfare.

“I have long believed in the power of the consumer and whilst consumers will often choose to buy free range eggs to use in cooking, they are unaware of how many eggs are used in processed food products.

“It is gratifying to see how gradual policy switch amongst major retailers and food manufacturers is resulting in increased use of free range eggs. Even through recession free range egg sales have largely held their own.”

Chris Parker, the chairman of the Ribble Valley Poultry Society, said: “I would like to congratulate the trust for their anniversary.

“The most worthwhile thing that they do in my eyes is to raise awareness of the pleasure that you can get from keeping hens.

“If this organisation did not exist then thousands of hens would end up in the food cycle.”