NSW Upper House passes free-range egg labelling bill

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PUBLISHED ON: 21 October 2011

After two days of debate, the NSW Upper House today passed the Greens' Truth in Labelling (Free-range eggs) Bill that will impose labelling requirements and legally enforceable standards for free-range eggs sold in NSW if also passed in the Lower House.

The bill, which was watered down by Labor amendments, was passed with support from the Greens, Labor and the Shooters and Fishers party. Only the NSW Liberal Government opposed it.

If passed in the Lower House, this bill will see the stocking density of free range hens capped at 1,500 per hectare. This would be a serious blow to the Australian Egg Corporation's plan to allow 'free range farmers' to keep 20,000 hens per hectare. The bill will also ensure that free range hens have access to the outdoor range from a much earlier age that that proposed by the industry body.

Our thanks go to all supporters who have taken action to protect free range laying hens from being subjected to factory farming like conditions. Your correspondence ensured NSW MLC's knew how they could best represent the public. We will soon need your support again to ensure the bill is passed in the Lower House and becomes law.

But if you want to do more to protect laying hens from cruelty NOW, please find some ideas below:

  1. Write to Australia's Ministers for Agriculture to urge them to review the poultry code and ban the battery cage.
  2. Sadly the living conditions afforded to hens are only half the story. Each year 12 million day-old male chicks hatched in egg industry are gassed to death or ground up alive — simply because they will never grow up to lay eggs. This is one of the key reasons many caring consumers are reducing the number of eggs in their diet and opting for egg free recipes.

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