press release (see photos below; video clip):

"New Zealand: Christchurch Open Rescue takes 37 hens out of life of misery

The Christchurch Open Rescue collective has rescued 37 young hens from a Canterbury battery farm, saving them from living a life of misery in battery cages. The group is part of the wider Open Rescue network across New Zealand, which has rescued battery hens and documented the plight of factory farmed pigs and broiler chickens since beginning in 2006. Open Rescue members openly break the law to rescue animals from exploitation, and document the horrific conditions they live in (1).

These hens were destined to become some of the 2.8 million hens exploited in battery farms in New Zealand. Instead, we have given them the gift of a normal life, which they have welcomed with open arms in the days since they were rescued" said Christchurch Open Rescue member Tracey Brown.

"The chickens are now having dirt baths, eating fresh greenery and will soon be laying eggs for the first time, free from the battery farm conditions where they struggled to even have enough space to turn around" (2) said Rebecca McCready, another Christchurch Open Rescue member, "In the sheds we took them from, we witnessed half-metre high piles of faeces and feathers left uncleaned, and an apparent complete lack of access to water."

"The recent prosecution of Trevor Chin, the owner of the Wellington Egg Company, by the SPCA, gave everybody a glimpse into the horrifying conditions present in battery farms across the country," said Chrischurch Open Rescue member Douglas Hesp "The shameful truth for battery farmers is that this was not an isolated case of cruelty, but instead more or less the norm in this disgusting industry."

"The rescue of these 37 hens has two purposes, to give them a chance at a decent life, and also to expose the battery farming industry to all New Zealanders. We encourage everyone to think carefully about where the eggs they eat come from, and not to fall for the "farm fresh" fallacy, which is simply another name for battery cages" stated Christchurch Open Rescue member Daniel Rae, "Our group starting is just one example of the growth of Open Rescue across New Zealand, and we are committed to openly breaking the law and rescuing battery hens from their lives of misery until battery cages are abolished"

(1) - Wellington Open Rescue member Mark Eden is currently in court after being charged with "unlawfully in a building" for his role in the rescue of hens from a Foxton battery farm in 2006. He is due to appear in the Levin District Court today, Monday October 8th, for a status hearing.
(2) - Christchurch Open Rescue has organised new homes for all 37 hens. All are now healthy and enjoying their first taste of freedom."