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Minister pressured to label hen cruelty

12 June 2006

Minister pressured to label hen cruelty

Over 50,000 New Zealanders have signed a petition calling for mandatory labelling of cartons of cruelly produced eggs. Mandatory labelling will help consumers identify eggs produced by battery hens. Petition organisers will present the weighty pile of petitions to the Minister of Consumer Affairs tomorrow, surrounded by a half-dozen of cheerleading dancing eggs.

National animal advocacy organisation SAFE has called for eggs produced by caged hens to be labelled as 'Eggs from Caged Hens'.

"Consumers are being confused, if not misled, about the origin of the eggs they purchase. Egg carton labels such as 'Farm Fresh', 'Farmer Brown' and Country Life' are deliberately used by egg producers to confuse consumers opposed to battery hen cages", says SAFE campaigns director Hans Kriek.

Overseas research shows three out of four consumers do not know how 'Farm Fresh' eggs are produced and that 30 per cent mistakenly believes battery eggs are free range. Europe and several Australian states have already introduced mandatory labelling of egg cartons.

"New Zealand egg producers remain defiant in their refusal to properly inform consumers. SAFE believes legislation is necessary to force producers to disclose production methods", says Mr Kriek

SAFE is supporting Sue Kedgley's Consumer Right to Know Bill currently before Parliament. This Bill includes a call for mandatory egg labelling.

The 51,438 signature petition will be presented to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Judith Tizard on the steps of Parliament on Tuesday 13 June at 1.15 pm.

ENDS

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