Why cage-free? And why now?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
The Poultry Site

Ahead of the 2019 Cage Free Egg China Summit in Shanghai, we investigate China’s transition to cage-free egg production.

There is growing demand from Chinese consumers and companies for cage-free eggs. Public surveys show widespread support for a move towards free-range and cage-free egg production among Chinese consumers. The largest academic study on the issue found that 73 percent of Chinese consumers support improving the treatment of farmed hens. With this global push for cage-free, it’s important that China responds soon, otherwise Chinese producers risk falling behind their foreign counterparts.

Why cage-free?

Food Safety

The European Food Safety Authority analysed data from 5,000 farms in 24 countries and came to the conclusion that free-range and cage-free egg farms have higher levels of food safety and are 25 times less likely to be contaminated with certain strains of Salmonella compared to caged farms. The decreased risk of disease in cage-free environments is likely due to a combination of cage-free systems being cleaner; having fewer rodent and insect disease vectors; being easier to clean and disinfect; and hens on bedding acquiring more natural, healthy gut flora, being less stressed and therefore less susceptible to disease.  ...follow the link to read the article in full on the Poultry Site webpage...