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SPCA Says Cage Free Barn is Cheaper than Colony Cages

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 March 2012

SPCA Says Cage Free Barn is Cheaper than Colony Cages

The SPCA is asking battery hen farmers to consider converting to barn housing for layer hens as a cage-free farming option.

The Egg Producers Federation have announced the proposed change to colony cages is accepted by the industry but that it will cost $150M and take an estimated 18 years for industry to recoup.

The SPCA agrees that the investment layer hen farmers will make is substantial and therefore consumers can expect hens to live in cages for a long time to come.

However UK figures show that the cost of converting from battery cages to a barn system is less than converting to a colony cage system and delivers the cage-free eggs that consumers want.

“Consumers are becoming far more conscious of where and how their food is produced and they don’t want cages,” says Juliette Banks, SPCA National Accreditation and Marketing Manager.

“With a steady annual increase in the free-range egg market it is clear consumers will not accept caged eggs in the future.”

For industry to spend millions converting a system that consumers will reject seems pointless.

“The production cost of barn eggs is only slightly higher than the colony system so the cost difference to consumers at the checkout will be minimal, however the life quality of the chicken is considerably better.” says Juliette.

The SPCA Blue Tick accreditation scheme audits cage-free producers to ensure good welfare standards for layer hens. Consumers choosing Blue Tick products can be assured of high welfare production standards.


ENDS


About the SPCA Blue Tick

The SPCA’s Blue Tick is a national certification programme that identifies the animal food product it adorns as being produced in a manner that is guaranteed to be cruelty-free.

To earn the right to display the Blue Tick logo, producers must meet the SPCA’s rigorous welfare standards and undergo thorough auditing on a regular basis by qualified and independent inspectors.

Free range and barn laid eggs were first to be accredited under the scheme in 2001, and in 2007 free range and eco barn (free farmed) pork and pork products were added.

Choosing products displaying the Blue Tick logo enables consumers to confidently select humanely-produced food.

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