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United Egg Producers Animal Welfare or Warfare: Debate over Cage or Non-Cage Eggs.

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Presentation on theme: "United Egg Producers Animal Welfare or Warfare: Debate over Cage or Non-Cage Eggs."— Presentation transcript:

1 United Egg Producers Animal Welfare or Warfare: Debate over Cage or Non-Cage Eggs

2 United Egg Producers Animal agriculture is under fire United Egg Producers Certified animal welfare program Science-Based Guidelines for the Welfare of Laying HensScience-Based Guidelines for the Welfare of Laying Hens Foodservice, retailers & consumer benefits Animal Welfare or Warfare: Debate over Cage or Non-Cage Eggs

3 United Egg Producers Animal Agriculture Is Under Fire

4 United Egg Producers Activist Groups

5 United Egg Producers Activists are Advertising

6 United Egg Producers Activists in the Food Industry Activists are targeting chefs and restaurants: Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Wolfgang Puck Red Lobster

7 United Egg Producers Activists in the Food Industry Do the activists speak for everyone? Activists spread misinformation, not facts

8 United Egg Producers Opposing Voices

9 United Egg Producers Context is Everything for Consumers 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Animal Care Organic Brand Reputation Health/Nutrition Portion, Cut, Packaging Taste Cleanliness/Safety Quality Price

10 United Egg Producers Hierarchy of Concerns High interest/ concern (8-10) Medium interest/ concern (4-7) Low interest/ concern (1-3) FOOD SAFETY: Assurance that the food you eat is disease- free 72226 BIO-SECURITY: Assurance that farms provide adequate safeguards to ensure that the U.S. food supply is not tampered with 66276 FARM ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Assurance that farms ensure adequate safeguards for the preservation of air and water quality in their areas 523612 ANIMAL WELFARE: Assurance that the food you eat comes from animals that receive proper care 443719 PACKAGING: Assurance that the food I purchase is packaged in a manner that is easily recyclable 334323

11 United Egg Producers How Do You Balance the Information?

12 United Egg Producers United Egg Producers Certified Animal Welfare Program

13 United Egg Producers UEP And U.S. Egg Industry UEP trade association with 95% of industry members 290 million egg-laying hens in U.S Per capita consumption – 255 eggs per year 98% of eggs produced in cages

14 United Egg Producers Research When purchasing eggs, what are consumers choosing? 13% 23% 95% 98%-- Eggs from cage production 2%--Eggs from Non- cage production 98% 2%

15 United Egg Producers Why An Industry Animal Welfare Program? Animal activists forced their agenda upon consumers, retailers and legislators in Europe The European Union Directives were based more upon personal opinions or emotions than science EU producers, retailers and consumers had no voice in the changes Most EU poultry scientists did not support the directives

16 United Egg Producers UEPs Animal Welfare Mission Scientific approach to animal welfare guidelines Guidelines based upon scientific research instead of personal opinions or emotions Guidelines that are driven by the industry rather than government mandates or legislation Guidelines that create a level playing field for both egg producers and the marketplace (our customers)

17 United Egg Producers Scientific Committee For Animal Welfare Starting in 1999 An independent Scientific Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Jeff Armstrong, Dean of Agriculture & Natural Resources at Michigan State University Dr. Armstrong selected: –Five (5) additional university representatives –One (1) private veterinarian –Two (2) USDA – ARS representatives –One (1) member of the American Humane Association

18 United Egg Producers Scientific Committee Assignment Review all available scientific research papers Visit egg production farms, cage manufacturers, breeder companies Consider all production systems but primarily focus upon cages Make recommendations for industry changes if needed Recommend additional research projects if needed

19 United Egg Producers Respected Scientific Committee McDonalds Burger King Food Marketing Institute National Council of Chain Restaurants After working for UEP several members of the committee served on animal welfare committees for:

20 United Egg Producers Science-Based Guidelines for the Welfare of Laying Hens

21 United Egg Producers Charge to the committee A WELFARE PERSPECTIVE first and foremost! Economics, food safety, ethics, & public perception Measures of hen welfare Behavior Physiological stress Immune function Productivity & mortality Process

22 United Egg Producers mal_welfare_guidelines.pdf

23 United Egg Producers UEP Animal Husbandry Guidelines Housing & space allowance Beak trimming Molting Handling, transportation, & slaughter

24 United Egg Producers Space Allowance: 67 to 86 in 2 of usable space/hen Molting Recent change – no feed withdrawal allowed Guidelines have evolved to non-fasted molts only Beak Trimming Transportation/Handling & Slaughter Specific Recommendations

25 United Egg Producers Advantages of Traditional Cages Improved livability More disease free Less bird aggression & cannibalism Less stress with smaller group sizes Less ammonia, dust, and microorganisms Easier bird inspection Cleaner eggs with less bacterial contamination Economics

26 United Egg Producers Disadvantages of Traditional Cages Expression of Behavior – Nesting – Dust bathing – Perching – Scratching – Wing flapping – Walking & running – Freedom of movement Poorer feathering Overgrown claws

27 United Egg Producers UEP Guidelines Dynamic –Feed restriction to induce a molt is prohibited –Feeder space – research in progress –Cage height – research in progress –Beak trimming procedures Continual research is needed –Behavior –Genetic selection –Interdisciplinary or systems approach Bird welfare balanced with human health –Housing systems Human health & bird behavior

28 United Egg Producers UEP Certified Companies Must Implement guidelines on 100% of all company and contract houses regardless of where or how eggs are marketed Not co-mingle eggs from certified and non- certified farms File Monthly Compliance Reports Be audited annually by an approved 3 rd party

29 United Egg Producers Recognition By Others USDA, FDA and FTC approve use of logo Guidelines Supported By: –FMI (Food Marketing Institute) –NCCR (National Counsel of Chain Restaurants) –IEC (International Egg Commission)

30 United Egg Producers Industry Commitment To Animal Care More than 200 companies with 230 million layers are committed to the program (80% of all U.S. egg-laying hens)

31 United Egg Producers Challenges and Activist Campaigns

32 United Egg Producers Humane Society Of the United States Campaigns To force restaurants, retailers and universities to only purchase eggs from cage-free producers Eliminate cage production No animal products Promote veganism

33 United Egg Producers The Activists Challenge Farm Break-Ins –Created websites with distorted messages –Distributed videos and stories to TV stations Lawsuits filed Legislation introduced

34 United Egg Producers UEPs Position Support the right of consumers to choose Members produce eggs in cage, cage-free, organic and free-range systems That foodservice operations, retailers and consumers should not be forced to limit their egg purchases from only cage-free systems Consumers should have right to purchase lowest cost egg product if that is their choice


36 United Egg Producers Egg Production Trends Specialty Eggs: Organic Omega 3 Brown Cage-free Free range What makes specialty eggs different?

37 United Egg Producers Retail Feature Prices (as reported by USDA) March 24, 2006 – 17,000 Retail Stores UEP Certified and other cage eggs=87 cents per dozen Cage-Free Eggs=$2.28 per dozen Organic Eggs=$3.44 per dozen

38 United Egg Producers Egg Production Closed housing systems

39 United Egg Producers UEP Certified Benefits Economical source of protein Safe, quality product Eggs purchased come from farms following strict guidelines Farmers are audited for compliance to guidelines Research shows that consumers prefer eggs that are produced under animal welfare guidelines Balanced program that includes the welfare of the hens and cost of production

40 United Egg Producers UEP Supports Consumer Choice While approximately 98% of all eggs are produced in cages, we do support consumers choice of purchasing cage-free, free-range, organic or any other specialty eggs. Many egg producers including UEP Certified companies produce eggs in all these systems.

41 United Egg Producers United Egg Producers Thank You UEP Hotline: 404.367.2761

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