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Egg Industry unveils new Animal Care Certification Logo

by 5m Editor
30 September 2003, at 12:00am

US - Consumers and retailers concerned about animal welfare can now easily spot eggs produced using the United Egg Producers (UEP) new animal care guidelines.

Egg Industry unveils new Animal Care Certification Logo - US - Consumers and retailers concerned about animal welfare can now easily spot eggs produced using the United Egg Producers (UEP) new animal care guidelines.

The UEP today unveiled a new certification logo that will appear on egg cartons from farms that adhere to new animal care guidelines that were announced in June. Egg producers representing more than 200 million layers or 80 percent of the industry have already signed on to participate in the program.

Participating producers will be audited yearly through an independent certification program to ensure the new standards are being met.

“Since June, we have been overwhelmed by calls from consumers, retailers and restaurants wanting to know how they can get eggs from certified farms. This new certification logo makes it easy,” said Al Pope, president of the United Egg Producers.

The Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants announced the UEP guidelines as part of a comprehensive animal welfare program that included several meat-related industries in June. The UEP guidelines are based on recommendations from an independent scientific advisory committee commissioned in 1999 to review the treatment of egg-producing hens. The committee included representatives from the USDA, scientists, U.S. Humane Association and academics.

The guidelines place top priority on the comfort, health and safety of the chickens, and include:

  • Increased cage space per hen, which is being phased in to avoid market disruptions;
  • Standards for molting procedures based on the most current, verified scientific studies;
  • Standards for trimming of chicks’ beaks, when necessary, to avoid pecking and cannibalism;
  • Maintaining constant supply of fresh feed, water and air ventilation throughout the chicken house, and monitoring for ammonia;
  • Standards for daily inspection of each bird as well proper handling and transportation;
  • Availability of a new training video to instruct producer staffs on the proper handling of chickens to avoid injury to the animals.
The UEP has also commissioned three scientific studies to identify the safest, most humane and effective practices for induced molting among hens. The industry plans to recommend changes for molting as appropriate once the research is completed, which is expected this fall.

Source: United Egg Producers - September 2003

5m Editor