Ed Thompson London Documentary Photographer | Lecturer | Artist



Text by Ed Thompson

In 2012 European laws were implemented to stop the current system of caged battery hen farming, with over 16 million hens currently in battery farms in UK and around 225 million in Europe, this will lead to environmental and economic implications worldwide. What is to come of the 16 million UK hens in 2012 is unclear, but one thing is certain, there will be a lot of ex-bat hens needing to be re-homed.

There has always been a need to re-home ex-battery farm hens; once they are around 18 months old they face 'retirement' as they are deemed unproductive by the battery farmers, even when most hens can potentially live for another four years.

Many people in the UK can play a part, as it's not some distant issue that is beyond the scope of the British public, and unlike many environmental issues it's one where we can all act directly. A rescue hen costs only £3 and will provide you with free free-range eggs for around four years, in a time of economic recession it can pay off to live 'The Good Life'.

The British Hen Welfare Trust, the largest UK group who rescue and re-home hens, have a refreshing attitude in the world of animal rights/issues, that is they try to work with the battery farmers, rather than fighting them. Because of this the photographs are intended to be original and humorous, to engage the viewer, rather than depending on over used and clichéd shock imagery that only leads to more controversy rather than solutions.

Project Details

Publication: National Geographic Magazine, The Sunday Times Spectrum Supplement, Greenpeace Magazine, Der Freitag, D Repubblica

Exhibition: Christies, Magnum/Ideastap Award 2010, Foto8 Summershow

Date : 2009-2010