Senator Lee Rhiannon, Greens spokesperson for animal welfare, has congratulated Humane Society International for winning its case against corporate egg producer Snowdale Holdings for incorrectly labelling cruel intensively stocked barn-laid eggs as ‘free-range’.
“A majority of Australians are choosing to pay premium prices for free range eggs to ensure they are not supporting animal cruelty,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Western Australia’s Federal Court has found Snowdale guilty of misleading consumers by labelling over 71% of its cruelly produced eggs as ‘free-range’ when they were squeezing as many as 14 chickens to a square metre in filthy sheds.
“Snowdale has been ordered to pay more than $1 million for deceiving consumers who have been paying premium free-range prices for cruelly produced non-free range eggs labelled as free-range.
“This decision should serve as a warning to Coles and Woolworths who have sold Stockdale brands such as Eggs by Ellan, Swan Valley Free Range and Wanneroo Free Range as ‘free range’ for years. We now know that this marketing is deceptive.
“Industrial scale egg producers and major supermarket chains have been greedily taking advantage of ethical consumers by charging free-range premiums for eggs produced under cruel conditions.
“Consumers need to be aware the government recently sided with industry lobbyists and allowed factory-farmed eggs to be labelled as free-range.
“It is a timely reminder for shoppers to check stocking densities are a maximum of 1500 hens per hectare to make sure only true ethical free-range producers are receiving consumer support. You can do this via Choice’s CluckAR free range egg app.
“The Greens will continue to work with animal welfare organisations for better animal welfare outcomes in all food production,” Senator Rhiannon added.