July 6, 2021


Taiwan updates guidelines for laying hen welfare



Taiwan has updated its official guidelines for laying hen welfare for the first time since their introduction in 2015, according to the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan.


The legal guidelines are mandatory for any eggs labelled free range, barn, or enriched cage, and are expected to affect around 10% of Taiwan's 40 million laying hens. The upgrade comes after authorities announced a reduction in interest rates for farmers investing in cage-free systems as part of the government's low-interest loan scheme.


One of the most significant changes is an increase in the amount of space cage-free farms will need to provide for each hen, now providing at least 1m2of space per 10 birds, up from 1m2per 12 birds. The updated guidelines also ban the practise of forced moulting, specify nest box materials, perch design and range shelter size, and require that farms provide segregated areas for sick or injured hens.


"The updated regulations are a vote of confidence in Taiwan's cage-free transition," said Yu-Min Chen, deputy chief executive of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan.


- Poultry World