Aug21

ABCs of the benefits from Caged Layers

National Association of Egg Farmers Rallies Defense of Caged Layers

 

Since its formation in 2014, the National Association of Egg Farmers (NAEF) has defended conventional caged layer systems in producing a safe, wholesome egg.  If you believe in egg farmers know the best, safest way of producing eggs, you need to join the rally that NAEF has created. See the ABCs of this fight launched by NAEF below.

 

A.Food Safety and Security

 

Food safety is paramount and the members of NAEF are encouraged to purchase chicks from the National Poultry Improvement Plan SE-Clean breeding flocks and chick papers are tested upon delivery. Furthermore, claims that cage-free improves egg safety is simply untrue.  1.Penn State researchers have found that eggs from small flocks of chickens are more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis as eggs sold in grocery stores, which typically come from larger flocks. The analysis of the Salmonella enteritidis present in the eggs from small flocks shows they are the same types commonly reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from human foodborne outbreaks.

 

 B.Human Health and Welfare

A study conducted by the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply reported

 1.The aviary system had dust levels 8-10 times higher than other systems.2.The aviary system resulted in high worker exposure to endotoxin dust particles and reduced lung function by the end of a shift.3.The aviary system also presented ergonomic challenges; hens laying in litter resulted in a lot of crawling around for employees and potential respiratory and infection hazards.http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/business/eggs-that-clear-the-cages-but-maybe-not-the-conscience.html?_r=2

C.Sustainable Egg Production Systems

The rush by retailers and food manufacturers to source their egg needs from cage-free facilities must consider these facts on sustainability.1.The cost to implement new barns for cage-free chickens needed is calculated at $45 perFor 200 million chickens, that’s a capital investment of $9 billion. Cage-free egg production costs are determined to be 36% higher* than conventional.

 

*Using conventional production as a baseline, aviary production was 36 percent higher in costs, reported the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply at the International Poultry Production and Processing Exposition, January 26, 2016.

 D.Animal Welfare and Husbandry

The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply reported at International Poultry Production and Processing Exposition in Atlanta, GA on January 26, 2016:

 1.Total accumulated mortality was highest in the aviary (cage-free) system (11.5 percent), due to aggressive pecking and cannibalism. It was 4.7 percent in conventional cages. This results from the hens establishing a pecking order among theirConventional cages reduces the size of this population and thus reduces the stress caused from pecking.2.Keel bone breakage was highest in the aviary system. Increased keel bone breakage was confirmed with New Research at the University of California-Davis. This new research study shows the majority of breast bone damage originates from collisions with perches in cage-free environments. Dr. Maja Makagon, assistant professor of applied animal behavior at University of California, Davis’ Department of Animal Science, noted the increased bone

 

Don’t Wait to Join

The cost of produce cage-free eggs is 36% higher than conventional cages, but that increased cost is not being supported by consumers everywhere. This California reporter below says consumers not likely to pay $3.50-$4 per dozen for cage-free when regular eggs cost $1.33 per dozen.

http://mms.tveyes.com/PlaybackPortal.aspx?SavedEditID=14d29221-3d62-466b-ba44-659bb7f7bf29

 

See how NAEF has defended conventional caged systems by reading the stories on this website.

 

 

 

 

Aug10

Stopping States From Regulating Commerce of Eggs

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) testified before the House Judiciary Committee July 25th and included in his testimony data from NAEF on egg prices in California compared to the rest of the nation. The hearing was to consider HR 2887 entitled "No Regulation without Representation Act of 2017" H.R. 2887, introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).  It’s objective is to stop states from adopting laws and regulations that ban the sale of out-of-state products that don’t meet their state’s criteria for production practices.

 

When asked by the staff of Congressional offices during the Capitol Hill visits July 19-20 if NAEF would support this legislation, we said we would, as it would benefit the nation’s egg farmers.  The bill was designed to address the growing problem of states regulating beyond their borders.  This hearing was directed at California's Prop 2 that regulates cage size for laying chickens and gestation stalls for sows as well as the recent ballet initiative that passed in Massachusetts.

 

https://judiciary.house.gov/hearing/no-regulation-without-representation-h-r-2887-growing-problem-states-regulating-beyond-borders/?utm_source=Daybreak&;utm_campaign=c34adcce6f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_24&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ac0d35ef7c-c34adcce6f-40888829

 

 

Aug10

USDA Responds to Egg Farmers Request

USDA Responds to Egg Farmers Request

On July 20th NAEF was in the office of the USDA General Counsel Stephen Vaden asking for better reporting and data collection by the State Veterinary Disease Laboratories.  In trying to evaluate how effective the Egg Rule has been [21 CFR part 118 Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Transportation, and Storage (74 FR 33030)] it was discovered that the labs do not report the egg pool samples as coming from eggs being tested. Instead the information is lumped into one general category "poultry".  How can the government assess the effectiveness of the testing being done and paid for by the individual egg farmer when the reporting is so vague?   That was the question posed to the USDA General Counsel, and he agreed and followed with a promise to consult with Kevin Shea, the Administrator of the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, that very day.  USDA's Chief Veterinarian Dr. Jack Shere telephoned days later to say adjustments would be made in the reporting forms to accurately reflect sample results. 

 

Furthermore, Sec. 118.7 (a) of the Egg Rule requires environmental tests of each poultry house.  If any environmental sample tests positive, Sec. 118.8 requires four 1,000 egg samples tested at 2-week intervals for a total 4,000 eggs. NAEF showed the General Counsel the results from the Iowa State University VDL showing that Salmonella- positive environmental samples do not necessarily translate into contaminated eggs. After testing over 685,000 shell eggs from the summer of 2010 until March of 2016, ISU VDL has found only one positive egg pool, which was during the 2010 national recall. 

 

NAEF informed USDA that it had urged Congress in meetings on July 19-20 to test pooled samples from environmental drag swabs instead of the individual swabs currently required by FDA.   Pooled samples would reduce the financial burden on egg farmers. This is consistent with the 2015 research article (published in Avian Diseases 59:548-553) entitled “Validation of Single and Pooled Manure Drag Swabs for the Detection of Salmonella Serovar Enteritids in Commercial Poultry Houses” by Dr. H. Kinde et.al., California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, San Bernardino, CA. This study showed there is no significant difference between the sensitivity of environmental sampling of four-swab pooled together using the National Poultry Improvement Plan culture method compared to the single swabs analyzed by FDA’s method, but the costs are significantly less.  NAEF has not yet heard back from FDA on this suggested improvement and cost-reducing measure to save testing expenses for the nation’s egg farmers.On July 20th NAEF was in the office of the USDA General Counsel Stephen Vaden asking for better reporting and data collection by the State Veterinary Disease Laboratories.  In trying to evaluate how effective the Egg Rule has been [21 CFR part 118 Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production, Transportation, and Storage (74 FR 33030)] it was discovered that the labs do not report the egg pool samples as coming from eggs being tested. Instead the information is lumped into one general category "poultry".  How can the government assess the effectiveness of the testing being done and paid for by the individual egg farmer when the reporting is so vague?   That was the question posed to the USDA General Counsel, and he agreed and followed with a promise to consult with Kevin Shea, the Administrator of the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, that very day.  USDA's Chief Veterinarian Dr. Jack Shere telephoned days later to say adjustments would be made in the reporting forms to accurately reflect sample results. 

 

Furthermore, Sec. 118.7 (a) of the Egg Rule requires environmental tests of each poultry house.  If any environmental sample tests positive, Sec. 118.8 requires four 1,000 egg samples tested at 2-week intervals for a total 4,000 eggs. NAEF showed the General Counsel the results from the Iowa State University VDL showing that Salmonella- positive environmental samples do not necessarily translate into contaminated eggs. After testing over 685,000 shell eggs from the summer of 2010 until March of 2016, ISU VDL has found only one positive egg pool, which was during the 2010 national recall. 

 

NAEF informed USDA that it had urged Congress in meetings on July 19-20 to test pooled samples from environmental drag swabs instead of the individual swabs currently required by FDA.   Pooled samples would reduce the financial burden on egg farmers. This is consistent with the 2015 research article (published in Avian Diseases 59:548-553) entitled “Validation of Single and Pooled Manure Drag Swabs for the Detection of Salmonella Serovar Enteritids in Commercial Poultry Houses” by Dr. H. Kinde et.al., California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, San Bernardino, CA. This study showed there is no significant difference between the sensitivity of environmental sampling of four-swab pooled together using the National Poultry Improvement Plan culture method compared to the single swabs analyzed by FDA’s method, but the costs are significantly less.  NAEF has not yet heard back from FDA on this suggested improvement and cost-reducing measure to save testing expenses for the nation’s egg farmers.

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