Humánny pokrok – a prominent animal advocacy group from Slovakia – has published the first ever investigation footage from cage farms for laying hens from Slovakia. The footage was obtained on three different locations, and finished with the support of Anima International. The footage, showing hens with severe feather loss, untreated injuries, dead hens in cages, and a living hen being thrown into a garbage can and buried alive under the bodies of dead birds, has swept through the media in the country and generated widespread uproar.
In the first 48 hours after publishing, the footage has reached one in five people in Slovakia on social media, and has appeared in all of the most influential and prominent media in the country, including the main news program of the biggest TV station, the most popular investigative program which included an extended interview with the person who collected the footage on one of the farms, the most widely read newspaper in the country, and the most popular radio station.
The proposal to ban cages for laying hens in Slovakia has been submitted by MP Tomáš Šudík to the Slovak National Council only last week and publishing of the investigation footage has stirred up further political discussion about the ban. The first reading of the proposal should take place in mid-March and since the government of Slovakia is in demission, all coalition deals are off the table, which makes the chances of the proposal hard to predict.
Humánny pokrok has launched their campaign to ban cages for laying hens in 2021, after securing cage-free commitments from almost all major retailers in the country and after winning a court case which one of the retailers has raised against their campaign, which eventually led to an additional commitment of the Slovak Poultry Union to go cage-free by 2030. The campaign has collected over 46 000 signatures calling for the ban on cages and if successful in first reading, the final vote on the ban could be expected as soon as mid-May or late June.