Assurance over egg imports

Although the egg market is short and imports are coming in from Europe, Scottish producers were this week assured that all imported eggs appear to have come from accredited systems and not from hens kept in battery cages.

Charles Russell, senior poultry officer with the Scottish Government, told a conference in Perth that a great deal of monitoring was taking place and, working with officials in Europe, checks were being made on imported consignments.

“We have not seen anything illegal so far,” he stated, adding that egg markings on inspections revealed they had all come from enriched animal welfare production schemes.

Since the European Union passed the regulation banning the sale of eggs from hens kept in battery cages on January 1, the price of eggs has risen throughout Europe.

Conference organiser John Ralston, who runs his own supply business in the poultry industry, said it was almost akin to 50 years ago when the egg industry boomed after years in the doldrums. He predicted the current shortage and consequent high egg prices would continue for some time.

He also foresaw “mayhem” in Europe some three months from now when massive EU fines will be implemented on those countries still producing eggs under illegal conditions.