Support the British Hen Welfare Trust!

  • British Hen Welfare Trust
  • British Hen Welfare Trust

The BHWT's re-housing campaign has led to new homes being found for many thousands of battery hens which no longer have a commercial value

Currently celebrating its tenth year, The British Hen Welfare Trust was originally set up to educate the British public about laying hen welfare.  Widely applauded for its re-homing initiative, the BHWT has already found pet homes for over 463,000 commercial laying hens otherwise destined for slaughter. 

Television has proved a major factor in changing public opinion from the very outset. Jane Howorth, the Trust’s Founder, was moved by a Panorama documentary in 1977, illustrating the stark conditions inside battery cages. The remit from the outset was to be pragmatic – using consumer clout whilst supporting the British egg industry by encouraging people to check food labels.

Increased consumer awareness has led to big name companies switching to free range eggs, including Hellmanns Mayonnaise in 2011, and such policy changes have improved the quality of life for tens of thousands of hens.

The charity has also contributed to improving veterinary diagnosis and treatment of backyard hens, helping to facilitate the training of vets across the country as demand for better hen care has escalated in tandem with the trust’s profile.

“About 80% of us now buy free-range or organic eggs but 50% of eggs in this country still come from battery farms. We need to think about all the processed foods - quiches, biscuits, cakes, mayonnaise, cheap ice cream etc.  Some supermarkets have phased out battery eggs completely and if this continues we might see the 50% coming down to about 30% and then disappearing completely."

Jamie Oliver

Re-homing increased exponentially in 2008 after Jamie Oliver presented a Channel 4 programme, Jamie’s Fowl Dinners. This caused a huge surge in interest and a rapidly expanding national network of volunteers.

The same impact was felt again in 2010 following a BBC2 documentary presented by Jimmy Doherty - The Private Life of Chickens - filmed at the trust’s Devon HQ, demonstrating the behaviour and psychology of chickens as complex social creatures.

With Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Doherty, Amanda Holden and Kate Humble as important patrons, the trust also enjoys the support of many other TV celebrities including Deborah Meaden, Caroline Quentin, Alistair Stewart and Alan Titchmarsh. 

The trust runs regular re-homing days at pop-up points across the country. As well as assisting with hens on the day, the charity is always keen to hear from people who can provide towing facilities for hen transport and/or have facilities such as a covered barn or stables with a parking area, as well as carers who are able to help with the occasional hen not fit enough to be re-homed immediately.

Even if you can’t re-home a hen, simply by making informed choices about what you eat at home, and when out and about can still make a huge difference to thousands of hen’s lives. Better still - spread the word! Display a poster, distribute leaflets and subscribe to the BHWT magazine. It all helps to get people who don’t keep hens to think about the products in their weekly shop and to increase awareness of the work of this wonderful charity.

If you would like to find out more, please contact them as follows:

T: 01884 860084