News Reports Vindicates Yearlong Claim by National Association of Egg Farmers
- 1)On July 16th the New York Times reported on the trend toward cage-free is not without its problems
All that newfound freedom can introduce health risks for hens, workers and consumers. The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply, a group of animal welfare scientists, academics, egg farmers and big companies, recently released a report documenting several troubling aspects of aviary systems. (The group is backed both by egg producers, which have little incentive to change their ways, and food companies that have pledged to go cage-free.)
Perhaps most troubling, “hen mortality was much higher in the aviary system,” the report said. When hens move around more freely, it is easier for them to spread germs. And hens in cage-free aviaries were also more aggressive than their cage-bound peers, pecking at one another and, in some instances, becoming cannibalistic.
- 2)On July 18th Food Dive published this report on cage-free egg production.
- Sourcing 100% cage-free eggs has become a popular trend among food manufacturers that use eggs in their products. But aviaries, the most common industrial cage-free alternative for housing egg-laying hens, bear their own risks and problems for the hens, employees and the environment, according to a new report from the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply.
- In aviary systems, hen mortality is higher than traditional battery cages because it is easier for the hens to spread germs. Hens in this environment also tend to become more aggressive, including pecking at one another or even becoming cannibalistic.
- Aviaries can also increase health risks for employees who care for the hens and collect the eggs. This included being exposed to higher ammonia concentrations, dust levels and particulate matter emissions in the air, which can cause respiratory issues for workers.