Glenrath farms propose a further shed to house around 35,000 birds, in Stobo Valley,
Scottish Borders. Stobo Valley is an area known for it's bio diversity and beauty.
This follows Glenrath farms, who produce over 1.3 million eggs every year, already permitted plans to open 10 sheds in West Linton in the Scottish Borders. It will be Europe?s biggest, housing around 25000 hens in each of the 9 sheds. The area is also home to protected species, badgers, bats and some endangered vertibrae. Concern also comes from the high amount of chicken manure and waste these sheds would produce. Chicken manure contains phosphorous and has been known in other areas, such as Chesapeake Bay in the U.S and Tulsa, Oklahoma, to have polluted water systems and affected fish and wildlife in the rivers.
Although the sheds at West Linton have been approved, there is still time to oppose the plans for the shed at stobo Valley, we need as many people to oppose as possible, whether you are from the area or whether you live accross the other side of the country.
Glenrath have previously been the subject of undercover investigation, videos of which can be viewed on the internet, exposing the horrendous cramped conditions the birds are forced to live in.
The caged hens, trapped in tiny wire crates which allow no movement, never see daylight and never get to exercise their legs.
The company claim these sheds will be ?Free Range?, although plans for the sheds prove that many of the birds will still never see the light of day, with the outside ?run? making up a small proportion in comparison to the size of the shed. Only a percentage of the birds would be able to get outside at any one time. T
his form of hen housing means that the thousands or birds are so cramped together, some can not even reach water. They stand in their own urine and faeces, causing urine burning to the legs. Infection and disease spreads easily in confined conditions and birds who can not exercise can suffer from heart attacks and strokes.
Chickens have a hierarchy which means dominant birds are more likely to fight their way to the space outside, leaving some birds inside permanently.
So if it?s the females who lay eggs, what happens to the males?
Each year, approx 30 million chicks are ?disposed? of because they are male, and useless to the egg industry. Baby chickens bred for this industry are born in a ?hatchery?, where they are put on a production line and the males are separated from females, before being put alive in to a ?macerator?, a machine with spinning blades. Other hatcheries gas the chicks, which can take 15 minutes to cause death.
What about the environment?
Intensive sheds like these require large amounts of chemicals and waste disposal, management. Glenrath farms will have to undergo environmental surveys 6 months prior to construction. The nearby river Tweed, surrounding wildlife and land will be in danger from some amount of pollution and chicken manure/chemicals even with measures taken to limit damage. There is also the worry of bird flu risk with migrant geese passing through the area. Bird flu is known to spread rapidly in sheds like these.
Please Sign the petition to oppose the shed at Stobo Valley! Thanks!