Of all farm production practices, intensive systems come under public scrutiny most, and intensive egg-production is often a particular source of concern. Caged hens are seen as unacceptable in most European countries due to the density of housing, barrenness of environment and restriction of "most normal behaviour patterns". In New Zealand most egg-production systems involve practices which are being questioned overseas in terms of their welfare impact. This paper presents the results of a survey of some representative New Zealand farms in the light of public and scientific concerns for animal welfare. Currently there appears to be no obvious system likely to replace laying cages and guarantee good welfare. Pressure for change, however, seems likely.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 53, , 171-172, 1993
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