A South Molton charity that has rehomed nearly half-a-million hens is celebrating 10 years of animal welfare work this month. The British Hen Welfare Trust was set up by Jane Howorth in 2005, after she was moved by a television documentary which highlighted the conditions for battery hens. The charity has since rehomed more than 450,000 commercial laying hens destined for slaughter. Jane said: I am thrilled to be celebrating our 10th anniversary, and more importantly to have found homes for so many hens and introduced people to the joys of keeping our lovely ex-bats. Of course we could not have achieved this without our wonderful team of 300-plus volunteers around the UK; they have worked so hard to help so many hens. The charity, which has been backed by well-known patrons such as Jamie Oliver and Amanda Holden, also helps to educate the public about hen laying welfare. Jane said increased consumer awareness has led to many big brands switching to free range eggs. She added: Of course we could not have reached this point without the trust of the farmers who let us take their birds. I am particularly proud of our relationship with the egg industry;, it has taken time to build trust, but I believe farmers now understand that we, too, want to see a strong and successful UK egg industry that values high welfare. To find out more about the charity click here.