Battery cages are good for chickens

U.S. egg farmers care about treating hens properly and protecting them.

This column is in response to Karen Davis’ Dec. 8 letter to the editor and to Jason Ketola’s Dec. 6 column “See the horrors of battery cages.”

United Egg Producers is concerned that the information provided by Davis and Ketola is misleading people at the University about the egg industry and the United Egg Producers Certified program. ?

The United Egg Producers, which represents almost all U.S. egg companies, was instrumental in developing the United Egg Producers Certified program for cage-egg production, the most comprehensive and progressive animal care program in the United States. This program was developed out of guidelines established by a committee of top animal-welfare experts and is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. The Food Marketing Institute and the National Council of Chain Restaurants support these guidelines. Adherence to these guidelines is audited by independent inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other authorities.

U.S. egg farmers care about treating hens properly and protecting them from disease and injury as part of our ongoing commitment to providing the safest, best quality and most economical eggs in the world. Eggs with the United Egg Producers Certified logo ensure the hens were not treated as described by Davis, Ketola or other animal activist groups . The United Egg Producers Certified eggs produced in cage systems are the only U.S. eggs produced under science-based guidelines.

Please consider that the cage system provides greater assurance that hens receive adequate food and water daily and hen houses protect hens from inclement weather. The cage system allows farm caretakers to visually inspect each hen everday. The cage system has virtually eliminated the need to administer medicine or drugs to the hens and provides for better overall bird health and welfare. In fact, 98 percent of all eggs in the U.S. and more than 90 percent throughout the world are produced in cage systems. I encourage readers to visit www.uep to learn more.

? Gene Gregory is the senior vice president for United Egg Producers. Please send comments to [email protected]