Layers reach use-by date

brood of hen

BATTERY laid eggs will be phased out in Australia over the next decade-and-a-half after reforms to animal welfare standards in the poultry industry, meaning farmers will need to consider significant investments to stay in production.

The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry was released last week with updated recommendations and regulations for the industry.

In those guidelines included the new restrictions on cage sizing for poultry.

A single-bird cage must have 1000cm2 of usable space, while cages with two or more birds require 750cm2 per bird.

Stocking density must not exceed 30kg/m2 in ideal indoor conditions.

All cage-based housing facilities installed after July 1, 2022, must meet the requirements.

Cage systems installed before 2012 must meet new requirements by July 1, 2032, while cages installed after 2014 must be updated by 2036.

CEO of RSPCA Tasmania Jan Davies said the state was well placed to meet the 2036 date.

“While we’re only small on the grand scheme of caged hens in Australia, our major producers are already well ahead of the curve,” Ms Davies said.

“Because of that the 2036 change date isn’t a big deal for Tasmanian egg production, which is a great reflection on our producers and their alertness for those market signals.”