Farm Gate Eggs Threatened
30 August 2004
The Soil & Health Association is calling on Jim Sutton to save free range egg producers from ruin. The bureaucratic madness hoisted on humane egg production by the barbaric cage producers must be reversed, said Steffan Browning, Soil & Healths co-chair.
The Kiwi culture of farm gate egg sales is threatened by the huge compliance costs that come from ridiculous Risk Management Protocols, favouring the big battery farmers according to Mr Browning. The Egg Producers Federation, practically monopolised by the giant Mainland Poultry, has also lobbied a heartless National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, into deferring decisions on present cages until 2009, he added.
Soil & Health point out that the battery cage farmers are bucking against changes to their hens allocated living area, of less than an A4 sheet of paper each, and have succeeded in the 2023 ban on battery cages being dropped.
An expose in Soil & Healths Organic NZ journal, written by Perry Spiller of the newly formed Free Range Egg Producers Assn (FREA), points to big business manipulation trying to suppress what was the rapidly growing humane, healthy, free range egg industry.
The new regulations will prevent anyone giving, selling or bartering a genuine free range farmyard egg without having spent thousands in compliance costs. What is part of normal NZ rural life and an important part of many small organic properties could be driven underground, said Mr Browning, unless the Minister allows an exemption. The Minister should be supporting production that enhances our clean green image and improves animal welfare.