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SPCA Demands Labelling For Caged Hens’ Eggs

SPCA Demands Compulsory Labelling For Caged Hens’ Eggs

The Royal New Zealand SPCA is calling for the compulsory labelling of battery hen eggs.

“As a simple matter of consumer choice, people have an absolute right to know what kind of eggs they are purchasing,” says the SPCA’s National Chief Executive, Robyn McDonald.

“Consumers certainly shouldn’t be put in a position of buying products that they do not want, because of inadequate or confusing labelling,” she says.

The SPCA recommends that consumers who do not wish to purchase caged hens’ eggs look for cartons bearing an “RNZSPCA Approved” logo that tells them whether the approved eggs are free-range or barn eggs. Free-range eggs are laid by hens who are allowed to wander out-of-doors during the day. Barn eggs are laid by hens who are allowed to move around freely in-doors.

The right to use the SPCA’s logo is restricted to regularly-audited egg producers who meet the Society’s animal welfare standards and have no commercial connections with battery egg production.

“In contrast to SPCA approved eggs, those from caged hens are never labelled as such in New Zealand. Many consumers would be confused by battery egg packaging that is often presented with a cosy farmyard look suggestive of contented, well-cared-for chickens. This is far from the reality of caged birds’ cramped ‘factory farm’ conditions,” says Robyn McDonald.

“We will be asking Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton and Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard to ensure that eggs produced by caged birds are clearly labelled as such. This already happens by law in Australia and there is absolutely no reason why New Zealand consumers should have to put up with a lesser standard of information,” she adds.

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