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Sweden Bracing for EU-Induced Egg Boom

by 5m Editor
15 December 2011, at 8:45am

SWEDEN - A ban on barren cages for egg-laying poultry, which comes into effect in the New Year, could mean an egg boom for Sweden if the demand rises quicker than the European poultry farmers have time to adjust.

”Sweden adjusted to the new rules a few years ago now, so we don't have to do anything when the new rules come into effect,” Åsa Lannhard Öberg told The Local.

Despite the fact that the ban on barren poultry cages for egg laying hens in the EU was announced as early as 1999, there are today about 1,000 establishments in 14 member states that will not have changed when the ban comes into effect on 1 January.

According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) poultry farmers who break the rules may be subject to sanctions and could be forced to close up shop, which could result in an Pan-European egg shortage and cause prices to soar.

For Sweden, as well as other countries that have already made the change, this could be good news.

"One scenario is that the demand increases and that we see an egg boom in Sweden and in other countries that have made the change already," said Lannhard Öberg.

According to the agency, there is a small risk that ‘illegal’ eggs will enter Sweden when the rules have come into effect, although the country only really imports eggs from countries that have already made the change.

"It is possible but we judge that risk to be very slim. And it is important to remember that these eggs are 'illegal' from an animal welfare perspective but you wouldn't get sick from eating them," Åsa Lannhard Öberg told The Local.