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Scare campaign by Egg Corp misleads public

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 6 May 2012

The Australian Egg Corporation (AECL) has been caught making false claims and distorting research to advocate for new voluntary standards allowing higher density stocking rates for free range hens, says Australian Greens Senator and animal welfare spokesperson Lee Rhiannon ("Scare tactics': Greens hit out over free range eggs plan", SMH online).

"The Australian Egg Corporation has been claiming that if voluntary standards are not changed to allow higher stocking densities Australia would be forced to import eggs from nations that have poor animal welfare standards and food safety laws," Senator Rhiannon said.

"In fact, the importation of fresh shell eggs is not permitted under Australian quarantine laws.

"The Corporation should catch up with changing public attitudes. Consumers are concerned about animal welfare.

"Consumers are increasingly interested in buying eggs laid by hens which have had a decent existence.

"The Australian Egg Corporation is peddling deceptive scare tactics in its bid to defend the battery cage and higher stocking densities for free range hens.

"Talk of a flood of egg imports from countries like the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam is wrong and highly irresponsible.

"Consumers are increasingly interested in buying eggs laid by hens which have had a decent existence.

"This scare campaign is designed to hoodwink the public and cement changes to the code that will compromise living conditions for laying hens in Australia.

"The Australian Egg Corporation has also been found to have misrepresented Scottish scientific research in a bid to confuse consumers. It's clear the Corporation will stop at nothing to further its own interests, at the expense of animal welfare.

"When federal parliament resumes I will be pursuing the matter in the Senate and through the Budget Estimates process," Senator Rhiannon said.

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