October 30, 2019
National labelling standard for egg products proposed in Australia
A New South Wales (NSW) parliamentary inquiry committee will also principally support abolishing the caged eggs industry, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
The inquiry will recommend the Minister for Better Regulation to lobby the Consumer Affairs Forum for products that are made from or contain eggs such as cake mixes and mayonnaise to be clearly labelled as either caged, barn or free-range.
Once approved, this may eventually become the national standard for the entire country.
With regard to the phasing out of caged eggs however, the committee's report does not include any deadline or timeline. But submissions have called for either five years to 10 years transition period for the industry to acclimatise, with the government aiding the industry.
Brett Langfield, chairman of the NSW Farmers egg committee said NSW farmers have voiced their concerns over a proposed rapid shift – if the government decided to ban caged eggs, farmers would have problems managing increased costs and egg supply shortages.
Dr. Jed Goodfellow, policy team lead at NSW RSPCA said a proposed 10 year phase out programme would be feasible, citing New Zealand as an example. He calls for government assistance for the industry.
He added that conventional battery cages can cause health issues for hens. These include increased rates of disuse osteoporosis (brittle bones) and fatty liver disease.
More than half of layer hens are raised in conventional battery cages. NSW produces one-third of Australia's eggs.
- The Sydney Morning Herald