18 July 2018 | Online since 2003

10 July 2018

BEIC Comment - July 2018

The good news on eggs keeps coming, from the benefits of protein in eggs, to studies suggesting that eggs are linked to a reduced risk of a stroke.

Our industry is recognised as producing a food product that is safe, of high quality, nutritious, and affordable. We must maintain this positive image and continue to capitalise on the ongoing good health messages.
There have been various issues keeping us busy including the draft Code of Practice for the welfare of laying hens and pullets. This has been laid before Parliament and, if there are no objections, is expected to come into force in early August. Defra has expanded this code compared with the previous version launched in 2002, and one area where producers need to be mindful of is on beak trimming. Paragraph 104 states “Once all management strategies are in place and good feather cover is achieved throughout lay for at least two consecutive flocks, stopping beak trimming in future flocks should be actively considered, in consultation with a veterinary surgeon and other appropriately qualified technical advisors”. We have always maintained that bird welfare must take priority and we continue to work with government and others to ensure that this message is made loud and clear. 
The Laying Hen Welfare Forum continues to take forward its work on maintaining  feather cover in laying hens. We have finished the recruitment of the trial farms and our Project Research Officer Jess Stokes will commence her work on developing bespoke feather cover action plans with the producers, which if successful, can be rolled out across the industry.
An area of interest to those involved in organic egg production is the Commission proposals which would require organic breeding stock and hatcheries. It also sets out requirements for pullet rearing and in lay. We have made a detailed response to Defra to take to Brussels on our behalf.