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We, the undersigned, are concerned with your decision to lower free-range egg standards to enable a 600% increase in stocking density. These lowered standards mean that some hens could have a mere 1 square meter of free space yet could be labeled as free-range.
We are also concerned with hens' access to the outdoors. Under Queensland law, hens can be considered free-range as long as they have outdoor access for eight hours a day and are within a certain distance from a doorway. This doesn't guarantee that all the birds will be able to go outdoors.
Customers seek out and pay more for free-range eggs in an effort to be compassionate. The free-range label should be reserved for birds who are allowed sufficient space to spread their wings, preen and peck in a grassy outdoor area. It is deceptive to label eggs as free-range when birds only have a square meter of indoor space to themselves and inconvenient access to a small, fenced outdoor patch. We respectfully urge you to move forward on animal rights and preserve or improve free-range standards rather than lower them.
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