National Farmers' Federation

Statement on phase-out of conventional cages

Quotes attributable to NFF CEO, Tony Mahar

We’re disappointed by the new Poultry Standards and Guidelines released by the Federal Government yesterday.

Industry supports ongoing improvement in animal welfare outcomes. But these processes must be led by science and consider the impacts on farmers and consumers.

The rushed phase-out of conventional cages over just 10 years, with no plans announced for compensation or support, could spell the end for many family-owned egg producers.

Eggs are an affordable source of protein and a much-loved staple in the weekly shop. Both affordability and supply will suffer if this rushed phase-out goes ahead.

The egg industry is already struggling with spiralling costs. We’re seeing these challenges manifest in egg shortages on supermarket shelves. Now the plan is to worsen this, by forcing farmers to discard cages that in many cases they’re still paying off.

Significant consultation and jurisdictional harmonisation efforts with producers must now occur.