Jacob Ayang

Global Partnerships Manager @ Animal Welfare League
179 karmaJoined Working (0-5 years)Ghana
animalwelfareleague.org
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Hi @TomBill, these are really great questions. Below are some details that will hopefully give you some clarity on our work

  1.  Animal welfare is significantly neglected in our region, with many farmers prioritizing profit over the well-being of their birds. one compelling tool we utilize is the finding of a research study, which indicates that consumers are increasingly ethically conscious about animal welfare and are willing to pay extra for cage-free products. Additionally, farmers included in our cage-free directory serve as a valuable resource for corporate companies adopting cage-free policies, providing them with a readily available market they can source from. These efforts, in conjunction with our direct outreach programs and workshops that emphasise on the importance of improved welfare practices as such practices directly impact both animal and public health are what convinces farmers to sign up.
  2. All farmers listed in our Cage-free Directory are 100% cage-free and adhere to our minimum welfare standards. We achieve this by collaborating closely with them, conducting individual farm visits, and offering technical support as needed. However, there remains a group of farmers who still employ cages and are looking to transition, and we are actively working towards transitioning them by the end of the upcoming year.
  3. Currently, the commitments take the form of of MOU's, as dictated by industry norms in our region. Nevertheless, we are actively pursuing measures to makes these commitments legally binding. With increasing industry support and other influential factors, we intend to scale-up our advocacy for regulations prohibiting the use of battery cages in Ghana.
  4. As part of the MOU, Animal Welfare League conducts two annual farm visits, one announced and one unannounced, to ensure that farmers maintain the minimum welfare standards. Additionally, farmers are required to provide yearly reports on the status of animal welfare and their housing systems on their respective farms to maintain their position on our directory.

Hi Constance, I totally agree with you that the time to act is now and with regards to specific organizations, Animal Welfare League has started working on this in Ghana. We have created a cage-free farmers directory that consists of farmers who adhere to cage-free minimum welfare standards and pledged to ensure the welfare of their birds are met at all times. 

We have also been up-skilling some staff in cage-free productions virtually with the Global Food Partners and hope to secure funding to take them through the physical training at the Global Food Partners Cage-free facility.

We particularly view a producer’s directory pertinent to an improved chicken welfare across Africa and with experiences from leading Open Wing Alliance’s (OWA) Africa outreach to global companies in Africa, we firmly believe that a producer’s directory with a corresponding cage-free model farm will serve as a practical demonstration farm for training producers especially transitioning cage farmers. This model farm will also be a research station that will provide context relevant layer hen welfare improvement data points to enrich the cage-free campaign in Africa