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Free range eggs

Episode: 9
Broadcast: 15/8/15
Presenter: Lee

These days there are so many choices when going grocery shopping –even something as simple as buying a carton of eggs can be confusing. There are many different labels – free range, anti-biotic and hormone free, cage eggs, barn laid, organic…the list goes on. Ethical concerns about animal welfare are playing an increasingly important role in what we buy. Lee investigates what the difference really is between all these eggs, and what your best option is next time you’re at the supermarket.

  • Caged egg production is the most controversial method of producing eggs– The hens are kept in small wire cages – with no access to the outdoors. Each bird is allocated less than an A4 piece of paper worth of space.
  • Farmers say the advantages of caged egg production are higher productivity, better disease control and less of an impact on the environment.
  • Big companies – like McDonalds, Woolworths and Coles are phasing out or have already banned caged eggs and this type of production is not supported by the RSPCA.
  • Nigel Dinkgreve runs “Forrestdale Farm Fresh Eggs” and operates a brand new, state of the art barn…it’s the first of its kind in WA and houses 15 thousand hens. This kind of barn production is supported by animal welfare groups.
  • The Australian Egg Corporation says in the past five years, the industry has been shifting from caged eggs to barn-laid and free-range eggs.
  • Ian Wilson owns a free-range farm in Munster where his 14 thousand hens can roam in the outdoors for 8 hours a day.
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