A poultry farm in Taiwan is reported to have invested more than NT$1 billion (€26.8 million) in meeting EU egg production regulations, voluntarily.
Shih An Farm in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan has spent more than NT$1 billion (US$33.4 million/€26.8 million) setting up an egg farm that meets the European Union egg production standards, according to local media reports.
It is the first of its kind in Asia, the reports claim. The farm in Kaohsiung’s A-Lien District boasts cages with roomier enclosures that allow laying hens to stretch their wings, roost on an elevated platform and nest in a designated nesting area.
The Taiwan Society of Agricultural Standards presented a certificate to Shih An Farm Wednesday recognizing its commitment to a more humane egg production system.
The farm also obtained a certificate from SGS International Certification Service on the same occasion.
Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji said at the ceremony that Shih An Farm’s achievement marks an important milestone in Taiwan’s quest to upgrade its egg production methods for the well-being of egg-laying hens.
Since Jan. 1 this year, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has officially implemented its ban on battery cages – the cages used by many egg farmers and criticized by animal rights advocates and veterinarians who call them cruel and harmful to the hens’ welfare.
“More countries are expected to follow suit in the years ahead and our livestock industry needs to catch up with this trend,” Chen said.
Local animal rights activists said the new cages are only slightly better than traditional battery cages.
In the future, they said they look forward to seeing local farmers adopt even more humane egg production methods such as barns or free-range systems.
Source: Focus Taiwan