IN THE NEWS: On MAR 7, 2018
Esperance's largest egg producer Sally Roworth has welcomed the State Government's recommendation to phase out of battery cages over 10 years but says it may create pressure on egg supplies.
"I definitely think it's a step in the right direction," she said.
"Obviously, being a free-range producer it is good news for me, but it is meeting the demand required in the future.
"I do feel it's going to put a lot of pressure on free-range and barn-laid production because there is still a big demand for eggs whether they are free-range or caged. It's certainly going to put more pressure on producing the numbers required."
Ms Roworth established Esperance Eggs when she bought 17ha of land on Quarry Road on the outskirts of Esperance in 2014 and she has had only free-range and barn-laid eggs produced on the property.
Her 4000 hens produce 3000 eggs a day and she said the writing had been on the wall for some time, but the likely transition away from battery-cage production was happening sooner than she expected.
"I always thought it would be a move that would happen in time but it's probably happened sooner than I thought it would," she said.
"If it's a 10-year thing that is obviously going to be done over a period of time to allow people to adjust and set up free-range yards and fulfil the requirements of making that change.
"There used to be a caged-egg farm here but they closed a good 10 years ago and this seems to be where the future is heading."
Jennifer Thompson is a member of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Backyard Poultry group and she said a move away from battery farming was long overdue.
"Phasing out battery-operations is a brilliant move for the industry and looking at stocking densities is also important," she said.
"Some free-range facilities are not much better off compared to battery farms and when people buy their eggs it is important to see how much space hens are given.
"There is a great app called CluckAR, which is brilliant."
Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said there was clear evidence battery farming needed to be phased out, and community expectations around animal welfare were developing and the industry needed to stay ahead of the game.