Recent allegations of animal welfare irregularities by a poultry breeder serving the egg farming industry in South Africa have led to widespread concern about poultry farming practices. In response, the Southern African Poultry Association has embarked on a number of actions aimed at reducing the chance of any such irregularities taking place.

According to Kevin Lovell, CEO of SAPA, association members agree to adhere to SAPA's Code of Practice, a series of guidelines and principles developed according to international standards. He stated that one issue of concern to many South African producers is that there is no economic use for male birds in an egg farming business.

Lovell says that local producers acknowledge that no country has yet found a satisfactory solution to the problem.

"Research being done in Australia and the USA seeks to alter the sex ratio of hatching eggs so that fewer male layer birds are produced. We welcome this research and hope that it will be successful and that the methods used will be considered acceptable by all parties," he says.