Attitudes of Serbian producers and consumers of table eggs on the ban on conventional batteries and the transition to enriched cages and alternative production systems
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The aim of the survey was to determine how the egg production sector is complying with animal welfare legislation, which requires a ban on conventional cages and the transition to permitted systems for rearing laying hens - enriched cages and alternative systems, as well as the attitudes of egg producers and consumers on the impact of permitted systems of egg production/purchase and hen welfare. The survey included producers (50), with 1000 and more hens, where in the sample, the percentage share of producers was according to the capacity - the size of the farm, i.e. similar to the share in the total egg production in Serbia. A consumer survey (261) established their views on the impact of the welfare of layers and the rearing system when buying eggs. According to the test results, it can be stated that: when switching to permitted rearing systems, enriched cages were the choice of all surveyed producers (100%) and that in the transition period from 2014 to autumn 2020, 16.3% of respon...dents switched from conventional cages to enriched ones (2.04% in full and 14.29% in part). According to the results obtained, 80.49% of them are planning to switch from a conventional cage system to another rearing system, of which 60.98% said they would do so if they had the financial means, while about 19% of producers believe they will be forced to leave production. All producers expect that the transition to enriched cages will lead to a reduction in their production, and 83.33% of them believe that it will be from 20 to 40%. Surveyed producers (87.18%) expect that the transition from conventional cages will increase production costs, and 65.11% believe that this will not affect Nataša Tolimir et al. 464 the welfare of layers. A survey of consumer attitudes found that when buying eggs, the production system was very important for 19.91% of consumers, and for 19.41% of consumers it was not important at all, while the welfare of layers was very important for 26.84% and not at all important for 10.32% of consumers. The conclusion of the research is that in Serbia the transition to permitted rearing systems is slow, that harmonization with legal regulations is a great challenge and that changes are expected in the coming period that may have far-reaching consequences for the sector of table egg production.
Keywords:laying hens / welfare / rearing systems / consumer / eggs / survey / Serbia
Source:Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry, 2020, 36, 4, 463-476
- Institute for Animal Husbandry, Belgrade