Southeast Asian Farmers Visit Cage-Free Egg Farm In The UK
Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 | 735 Views
Egg producers from Singapore and Vietnam travelled to an egg farm in Shrewsbury, UK, to learn about cage-free egg production.
Humane Society International (HSI), a global animal protection organisation, sponsored the trip to UK-based egg farm Heal Eggs Limited for Ma Chin Chew of N&N Agriculture in Singapore and Le Van Hoa, an egg producer in Vietnam. The trip enabled them to learn about new types of cage-free housing systems, techniques and procedures for managing hens in cage-free environments, and the benefits of such systems for hen welfare.
“I appreciated the opportunity to learn about cage-free housing. In Vietnam, there is an increasing level of consumer interest in animal welfare, and we want to be among the first to capture the market for cage-free eggs,” said Mr Hoa.
Heal Eggs Limited has been awarded the RSPCA Assured certification, which prohibits the use of cages and provides guidelines for hen health, diet, environment and care.
HSI helps the food industry adopt higher standards for the care of animals on farms through its Farm Animal campaign, which includes connecting companies with the technical training and resources they need to transition to cage-free egg production.
Earlier this year, Mr Hoa joined a roundtable organised by the animal protection organisation that brought together representatives from major global foodservice and hospitality companies with Vietnamese farmers and government officials to discuss the growing demand for higher animal welfare products in Vietnam.
Around the world, including in Vietnam, the majority of egg-laying hens spend nearly their entire lives confined in small and barren battery cages, and the birds cannot freely spread their wings let alone express other important natural behaviours like perching, dustbathing and laying their eggs in nests. However, growing consumer concerns about the treatment of animals raised for food make it increasingly clear that the future of egg production is cage-free.
Dozens of countries have national or local restrictions on the use of battery cages, and a growing number of multinational companies have pledged to eliminate eggs from caged hens from their supply chains globally, including in Asia, by 2025. Last month, The Lo and Behold Group became the first Asian company to adopt a cage-free egg policy.
Dawn Neo, corporate outreach manager, HSI Farm Animals in Asia, said: “The cage-free movement has already begun to take root in Asia. We look forward to helping food companies and egg producers meet consumer expectations for eggs produced with higher standards for animal welfare.”