NGO, Animal Kingdom Foundation, grants first-ever Cage-Free Seal to Bounty Farms Inc.

Bounty Farms Inc. (BFI) has been Certified Cage-Free by the Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) at the forefront of advocating cage-free systems for layers in the country.

This makes them the first commercial farm to attain a seal of Certified Cage-Free in the Philippines.

For years, AKF has been actively working with BFI on its campaign for better hen welfare in its egg production farms. In a gradual yet sure step, BFI has successfully transformed seven houses from old traditional caged houses into a cage-free system.

The certified houses are situated in Madera Farms in Brgy. San Rafael, Bamban, Tarlac. Each house contains 5,000 hens.The seven houses produce more or less 10.2 million eggs a year in total.

As AKF provided animal welfare inputs and technical advice, BFI underwent a rigorous and comprehensive inspection in compliance with the Philippine National Standards (PNS) Code of Practice for Cage-Free Egg Production. The standards specify the components of good management of a cage-free egg farm.

Atty. Heidi Caguioa, president and program director of AKF, said, “The Cage-Free Seal is granted to egg-laying farms that apply good animal welfare practices in their egg production system, and provide a humane environment that fosters expression of the natural behavior of birds, promotes stress-free, healthier and richly colored eggs.”

BFI’s certification will encourage more egg farmers to produce animal welfare products to address an increasing consumer demand for humanely and ethically produced food products.

Cage-Free eggs come from egg-laying hens raised and cared for following humane farming standards called the “cage-free system.” This production system allows egg-laying hens to freely move around, flap their wings and do activities natural to them like dustbathing, perching and foraging — consistent with the internationally accepted Five Domains of Animal Welfare.

Architect Edwin Chen, CEO of BFI, said in an interview conducted by AKF that hens should be given the right environment. “You also have to put the effort in the environment that they are reared and really work toward improving their welfare,” he further explained.

AKF is the first animal welfare NGO in the Philippines that grants the seal of good animal welfare as it encourages poultry farmers to improve their farming and management system, recognizing the welfare of animals in their farm practices.

Caguioa also stressed that, apart from animal welfare considerations, AKF aims to ensure consumer protection and prevent misrepresentation and fraud against enterprising individuals.

AKF has an ongoing campaign for higher hen welfare called “Cage-free, Go Cruel-free.” You can check their Facebook and Instagram @cagefreegocruelfree, or email akfgocagefree@gmail.com.

To learn more about Animal Kingdom Foundation and its other campaigns, visit akf.org.ph.


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