During a visit to Bodzentyn market in Poland last year, we observed groups of hens being sold and carried in nets. This resulted in their wings, beaks and legs getting all entangled in the netting, and them panicking from being trampled by eachother. We also saw piglets being carried in plastic bags! We are not sure yet of a practical alternative regarding the piglets but have an idea on how to relieve some of the suffering of the hens. We have hired a local animal-welfare activist to change this bad habit by getting the salespeople and buyers using boxes instead.
We collected cardboard boxes, made airholes in them and placed a sticker on each one saying “We are alive, please handle carefully” in Polish. Today was Anna´s first day working on this project. She spoke with the people at the market selling and buying hens and explained to them this new idea. Some responded with interest. She distributed the cardboard boxes out to those willing to try it. Anna will be returning on a regular basis to this market; by setting a regular good example we hope to wipe out the bad habit of using nets completely.
The hens trample eachother and get caught up in the nets
Anna setting up the boxes to give to one of the men selling hens.
The way the piglets are caried to the cars and horse-pulled carts of their new owners is also not acceptable. Eyes on Animals is still not sure how to stop this. Because people are poor, we need to think of a practical and realistic alternative that they will actually adapt and use in the long-term.