Letter to the Editor - April 9: Put chicken before the egg
AFTER years of various community groups including local Greens campaigning and witnessing a shift in consumer behaviour in egg consumption, the government has finally agreed to some labelling guidelines for free range eggs. Unfortunately what now passes as free range is very weak.
The free-range label only really indicates the hen is not caged. The real indication of free range and animal welfare is the stocking density.
The growing number of consumers who pay extra for free range will now need to take note of the fine print. Importantly, 10,000 hens per hectare only provides one metre of space per hen, better than a cage but far from free range.
Please look for stocking density of 1500 hens per hectare as a much better indicator of truly free range and subsequently healthier hens and eggs.