Battery hens

This will annoy a lot of people.

Battery hens are healthier than free-range chickens, a study from the National Veterinary Institute in Sweden has suggested.

OK, OK, it\’s not the most rigorous of studies, this is true. But then the people who will be annoyed are those who ought to be annoyed at every opportunity.

But Anna Bassett, a poultry expert at the organic trade group the Soil Association, said the study was flawed because it only looked at poorly managed farms with above average death rates.

She told the Daily Mail: "It is old data, and the paper itself admits that some of the results may be skewed as this was a time when farmers with no experience of non-cage systems started setting them up and managing them. The paper also suggests that the situation has improved markedly since 2004.We would expect there to be an effect from inexperienced farmers."

Well Anna, this gives you a chance to display your scientific credentials. Take the same methods as the first paper, go around and recreate it but with 2009 data. Then we can see whether things have indeed improved as farmers learn more.

If you don\’t go and test your statement then we\’ll just conclude that you\’re a blowhard, shall we?

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