Friday, June 15, 2018

Intensive egg production causes big environmental damage

Egg production in Australia and throughout the world has increased in recent decades, and has reached an annual volume of 68 million tons worldwide. Australian production has hit 460 million dozen. The main reasons are that chicken eggs are a valuable source of protein and are also inexpensive.The huge demand for eggs has led to more intensive production, replacing traditional free range methods. This has resulted in serious environmental impacts. Those impacts will almost certainly increase with a high density outdoor stocking rate of 10,000 hens per hectare approved by Australian Ministers for Consumer Affairs. We need to encourage people to set up more small-scale free range farms to service their local areas to meet demand rather than concentrate on the corporate solution. Currently, about 7 million tons of eggs are produced each year in the European Union. Spain is one of the largest producers with 1,260 farms and an average of 67,700 chickens each. Together with France, Spain represents about 25 percent of European production, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment. In addition, the production of eggs, like other intensive produce, generates negative effects on the environment, including the emission of greenhouse gases or the contamination of soil and water. It was not until the 1980s that intensive livestock farming began to be considered an environmental problem, and since then, few studies have focused on the impact of laying hen farms on the ecosystem. To determine the environmental implications of egg production in Europe, a team of Spanish researchers has taken as model an intensive poultry farm located in Asturias, with 55,000 laying hens and an annual production of more than 13 million eggs. The results are published in theJournal of Cleaner Production. Read more at

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