The Australian Egg Corporation Ltd., which represents all egg production systems, is in discussions with egg producers about new egg standards for Australia.
The new standards must consider consumer expectations, robust science and commercial reality as it relates to bird health and welfare, food safety and environmental stewardship, according to the AECL. Stocking densities of up to two birds per square meter will provide hens with the ability to display all their natural behaviors, allowing them to roam while having access to food, water and shelter in the henhouse. The AECL is working to improve the current situation by establishing a cap on free range stocking densities, and to have that cap enforced through government legislation.
"The egg industry needs to feed a growing population with an affordable source of quality protein," said the AECL. "This is our industry’s social responsibility. We believe this definition will provide clarity, consistency and transparency."
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