Thursday, December 01, 2011

Australian Government swallows Egg Corp con

According to the latest letter from the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (dated 24th November 2011), the Department accepts the bluster from the Australian Egg Corporation that the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Domestic Poultry does not specify an upper limit on stocking densities for free range hens. In reality, the Model Code makes it clear that 1500 birds per hectare is the maximum density for free range egg laying hens, but higher densities may be permitted for meat birds if continuing fodder cover can be maintained. The Code is perfectly clear. A maximum density of 1500 birds per hectare is in place for egg laying hens designated as 'free range'. That has been used as the standard for many years - even by the AECL for its Egg Corp Assured program.
But the issue may be resolved by the Ausralian Competition and Consumer Commission. Formal complaints have been lodged by a number of organisations, including the Free Range Egg & Poultry Association of Australa, and various individual egg farmers about the interpretation of the Model Code and the Egg Corp plans to allow increased stocking densities.

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