Socio-economic implications of adopting the EU laying hen welfare regulation in Serbia
Egg producers in the EU had more than a decade to adapt to Directive 1999/74/EC which prohibits keeping laying hens in battery cages after 2012. Meanwhile, numerous studies have been conducted in order to assess the socio-economic implications of this ban and to evaluate consumers' willingness to support improvement in layer welfare by paying a higher price for eggs produced in alternative systems.
The adoption of such regulations in Serbia with the implementation timeframe of less than two years, and without any assessment of consumers’ willingness to pay a higher price for eggs from alternative systems, places the burden of animal welfare on producers. Considering the overall difficult financial situation of egg producers, this poses a risk that a large number of egg producers in Serbia will leave the sector after 2012.
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