Aus: National definition of free-range necessary
The free-range label that is placed on egg and egg
cartons can be misleading. Additionally, a consistent legal definition is
needed, according to RSPCA Australia.
The NZ Herald reports that this comes after a survey by consumer group
Choice showed that consumers who opt to take animal welfare into account in
their purchases may be being duped.
"Just because a carton says free-range and has pictures of happy looking
chickens adorning the cover doesn't mean the eggs have been produced to high
welfare standards," said RSPCA Australia's Melina Tensen, adding that what is
needed is a nationally consistent legal definition of the term free-range and
other such terms that imply improved animal welfare standards, as well as much
According to Tensen, consumers should look for eggs from producers that
meet good animal welfare standards. "The RSPCA accredits barn-laid and
free-range systems that ensure hens have access to nests, space to move freely,
flap their wings and socialise, have constant access to food and water and are
protected from predators and the elements," she said, adding that the
RSPCA-accredited facilities underwent a stringent and regular inspection process
to ensure strict welfare standards were being met.
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