Ireland: €16 mln for new hen cages

21-07-2009 | | |

Poultry producers in Ireland will receive €16 mln from the government to help them meet new welfare standards for producing eggs from the caged system, which will come into effect in 2012.

The EU directive has banned the current system of cages that laying hens are kept in. These cages will need to be replaced by enriched cages, which provide more room for the hens, as well as a nest, litter for dust bathing, a claw-shortening device, and a perch.

The Irish Egg Association, the representative body for the Irish egg industry, welcomes the announcement by Brendan Smith, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to allocate €16 mln of the money which was announced last week.

He said the funding would come from a new €113 mln targeted scheme for on-farm investment to support a number of specific categories of farmers and was focused on supporting productive investment. “The funding is vital to help secure the future of the Irish egg industry,” said John Mohan, chairman of egg association.

“From 2012 the traditional caged system for producing eggs cannot be used in the EU and Irish egg farmers will need to invest at least €40 mln to convert to the new enriched cage system,” he said.

Source: Irish Times

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist