The Rural Times

Business Publicity

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is calling on state governments to protect egg farmers, amid fears of rising egg prices.

State Agriculture Ministers will meet on Thursday, July 13, to discuss the future of the country’s egg industry.

They are expected to endorse an updated version of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry.

The new guidelines include a phase-out of conventional layer hen cages by 2036, instead of the previous date of 2046.

Mr Littleproud said the New South Wales Labor Agriculture Minister Tara Moriarty and Queensland Labor Agricultural Industry Development Minister Mark Furner needed to step up for farmers in their states, with most egg production in New South Wales and Queensland.

“The State Labor Ministers need to have the courage and conviction to support egg producers and continue with the status quo,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Farmers have made investment decisions worth millions of dollars, predicated on the current guidelines, believing they had until 2046.

“Our egg farmers deserve support, not surprises, from state governments.

“The science in relation to caged eggs isn’t conclusive. We don’t need to rush this process.

“Any changes would effectively be a retrospective decision and farmers will have to bear the cost, which is unfair and un-Australian. The unintended consequences will also mean higher egg prices for consumers.

“We can use common sense and have more consultation to ensure investment confidence for farmers, while also continuing to provide fresh and healthy produce to consumers.”