National Farmers' Federation

NFF welcomes egg industry leadership on animal welfare

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the Australian egg industry’s announcement that it will support mandatory animal welfare standards, as outlined in the release of the Draft Welfare Standards for Poultry.
“The position shows that egg farmers are engaging positively with their most important stakeholders, the consumer, about their needs and expectations and have committed to continuous improvement in animal welfare,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
Mr Mahar said a phase out of cage production was impractical for a range of reasons, including market dynamics.
“We know that for a section of our community cage production offers an affordable source of protein.
“Supermarket shopping trolley data, demonstrates that people on low incomes are twice as likely to buy caged eggs as high income earners and free range eggs are favoured by those with more discretionary income.
“Cage eggs account for almost 50% of all supermarket sales.
“Phasing out cage production would force Australians, as a collective, to pay an extra $200 million per year for their eggs.”
Throughout the consultation process for the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry, Mr Mahar said the NFF had been consistent in its ask.
“We have asked for due process to be afforded and that a pragmatic discussion take place, based on fact.”
“The facts are, that the majority of egg farmers are committed to animal welfare and to supply chain transparency.
“The egg industry’s decision to become the first livestock industry to commit to mandatory standards and guidelines, as well as support for a regulated cap being placed on current conventional cage farming, are clear indications of this.”
“As Governments across Australia actively consider their involvement in animal welfare, this initiative from Australia’s egg farmers sends a clear message: our livestock industries are best placed to lead continuous improvement in animal welfare outcomes.”

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