April 8, 2013
NSW Farmers’Egg Producer Committee today supported a move in NSW away from the current unlimited cap on outdoor free range stocking density and toward one bird per square metre. The association‘s Egg Committee Chair Bede Burke said this stocking density will remove the ambiguity of the current regulations and ensure that the high animal welfare standards in the industry are maintained. “One bird per square metre is a sustainable outdoor free range stocking density which reflects consumer expectations, commercial realities and the best scientific information available,” Mr Burke said. “This standard will ensure happy and healthy hens, safe eggs andwill also keep pricing within the reach of Australian families.” “Consumers can be confident that Australian egg farmers know the importance of giving their hens the best quality animal care,” said Mr Burke.“ Great eggs come from healthy hens that are kept to the highest welfare standards and this stocking density is in line with this.” The committee has also called for a move towards national consistency and is looking to the NSW Government and major retailers to accept this stocking density (one bird per squaremetre) as standard. “It would be optimal if all eastern states were aligned and moved towards this maximum density. Coles is also on board with this standard and it is time for all major retailers to reflect industry and consumer calls, ”Mr Burke said.