Mole Valley Farmers
Farminguk
29 August 2016 | Online since 2003
Auto Trader Ltd


29 October 2012 08:14:23 |Finance,News,Poultry

Egg producers warned on stocking rates


Government inspectors have warned that they will be checking egg production units for overstocking, following a claim that some producers may have been encouraged to take on more birds than they are allowed.
The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has contacted the British Free Range Egg Producers' Association (BFREPA), asking it to warn its members to stick to permitted stocking rates or face enforcement action.
The warning has been issued by Tony Potter, technical services manager for egg marketing with AHVLA, in a note sent to BFREPA policy director Robert Gooch. In the note he said there had been a report that some pullet rearers had allegedly been encouraging producers to take on extra birds despite the stocking limits.
"I felt it important to bring to your attention a new rumour circulating (particularly, it seems, in the free range world)," he said in the note. "A producer has reported that he and others are being encouraged to take on more birds by their rearers (or suppliers of replacement birds), when they re-populate their flocks. I am aware of the industry reports of increased numbers of hens being reared and of rearers seeking part payment in advance of delivery etc – this suggestive of an oversupply situation which may add some credibility to this rumour."
Tony Potter, who also sent a copy of the note to Mark Williams, chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC), said, "I should, therefore, be grateful if, through your connections to your respective memberships, (and through your auditors) that you make clear what the legal stocking densities/rates are. There has been a tremendous effort by all producers to comply with both the cage ban and the stocking density requirements which came in on 1 January 12. It would be a great shame to move away from this position of compliance."
It was on January 1 this year that the rules on internal stocking density changed for longstanding producers. A European Union directive was introduced on August 3 1999 reducing the stocking rate for free range egg producers from 11.7 hens per square metre to nine hens per square metre. New producers were required to stock at the new density immediately, but the EU allowed a derogation to give existing producers time to switch over to the updated regulations. They were allowed to continue stocking at 11.7 hens per square metre. That derogation came to an end in December 2011.
The EU limits external stocking density to 2,500 birds per hectare. Until last year the limit in the United Kingdom was set at 1,000 birds per hectare under the Lion code. In 2011 the limit was increased to 2,000 birds per hectare. The figure was subsequently agreed by the RSPCA.
In his note to BFREPA, Tony Potter said that inspectors had been alerted about the report of overstocking and they would enforce the relevant welfare provisions. "Enforcement actions may range from providing advice and guidance to resolve the matter, through improvement notices to criminal prosecution or the disallowance of part/all of the single farm payment," he said.
He has asked BFREPA to ensure that its members were aware of the rules and warn them that inspectors would be checking on compliance by free range producers.
The Ranger contacted the Pullet Rearers' Association about the reports that some rearers may have been encouraging producers to take on extra birds. Association chairman Chris Brenton said he was not aware of any such instances, but he said the association fully supported the AHVLA's position that all producers should comply with stocking densities.
"Ultimately the responsibility for the number of birds housed in a shed must rest with the producer," he said. "If there has been any encouragement taking place, then a producer should just say 'no'. I am certainly not aware of any."
Chris said that a letter would be going out to members of his association to bring their attention to the issue and to make them aware that the AHVLA would be checking bird numbers.

Download

0 Comment

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment


Canada | 26 August 2016
Canadian beef exports to EU in limbo over E. coli dispute

If differences of opinion over food safety practices are not resolved, the big promises of a new European market for Canadian beef may be a pipe dream. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreemen...


India | 26 August 2016
GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain

A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition....


USA | 26 August 2016
USDA buys $20 million in cheese from dairy farms

Moving to bolster dairy farmers who are struggling to cope with price declines, the Agriculture Department announced Tuesday it is spending $20 million - on 11 million pounds of cheese. A taxpayer ...


France | 26 August 2016
Lactalis talks with French milk producers end with no deal

A meeting between Europe's largest dairy group Lactalis and French milk producers requesting a rise in prices ended in a deadlock after 10 hours of negotiations, sources close to the talks said. ...


USA | 26 August 2016
California farmers turn to sewers for water

California's prolonged drought is forcing Central Valley farmers to scramble for water to irrigate crops. They have to be creative. One agency is even turning to a sewage plant to meet demand. Just...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The British public are overwhelmingly in favour of keeping or strengthening...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The sustained recovery of pig prices since the spring has come at a time wh...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel has declared the Russian import ban ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A new study has linked oilseed rape crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Philip Hammond is to guarantee billions of pounds of UK government investme...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Access to the foreign labour market is 'critical', according the chief exec...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The Tenant Farmers Association has said the National Trust's vision for a p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Ulster farmers will 'not lie down and wave the white flag' when Brexit nego...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The cost of rural crime to the UK economy costs £42.5 million a year, accor...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A young farmers club member from Oxfordshire has created a petition on the ...


closeicon
Username
Password