Devon-based animal charity, the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT), has launched an urgent appeal following the breakdown of its south west rehoming van.

The BHWT, which rehomes more than 60,000 hens across the country each year, is appealing for donations to help fund a new south west based rehoming van in order to be able to continue its lifesaving work.

Jane Howorth MBE of BHWT, said: “In January, the van which we use to collect and transport upwards of 10,000 hens a year broke down. Our local mechanic confirmed our fears and we had to face the grim reality that our trusty van has reached the end of its days. We are now in desperate need of a new van as we have 6,400 hens waiting to be collected from their cages before the end of this month. Without a van, we simply cannot continue our life saving work.

“This week, we have seen a van that would give us everything we need. It’s modern reliable and efficient to run and fits our very unique specifications that make it suitable to be adapted to transport hens. It is available to buy straight away, but if we don't act quickly it could be sold to another buyer. I’m asking for help to ensure these sweet birds get the chance they truly deserve. To buy a new rehoming van will cost the charity £20,000, an expense we have not budgeted for. Any donations will be gratefully received to help these birds on their way to a happier future.”

The team collect ex-commercial laying hens from farms at just 18 months old when they are deemed no longer commercially viable, and finds them loving homes.

If you would like to support the charity in its mission to replace its van visit