Analysis of economic consequences of the ban on enriched cages for egg-laying hens

31 Jan 2020

Credit for the photo: ali elliott on Unsplash

Our Institute has participated in an Analysis of economic consequences of a legal ban on the use of enriched cages for egg-laying hens in the Czech Republic (available in Czech). The results will be presented at a seminar held by the Committee on Environment of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. A short introduction into the topic: about 80% of egg-laying hens in commercial production in the Czech Republic (circa four million) are kept in so-called enriched cages. Previous battery cages were banned Europe-wide in 2012. Nowadays, several countries prohibit the use of enriched cages as well. Our Institute has participated in the effort to quantify the economic consequences of such a ban. Our results show that the country-wide cost of transition to cage-free farming would be between CZK 3.1-4.6 billion, whereas the actual costs for producers could be between CZK 1.55-2.3 billion (due to expected subsidies). It is important to mention that there is a strong consumer-driven demand for cage-free eggs: about 80% of consumers in the Czech Republic support the idea of alternative means of housing the hens, many retailers have already stopped selling “caged eggs” or have committed to do so in the near future. Therefore, at least 60 % of Czech producers will have to change to cage-free housing regardless of the legal ban. The direct impact of the possible ban then reduces the costs for producers between CZK 0.62-0.92 billion. We estimate an increase in the production costs of CZK 0.20-0.40 per egg, which conforms to the observed increase in egg prices followed by similar bans introduced abroad (e.g. Austria, Germany, Netherlands…). An interesting fact is that most countries prohibiting cage housing recorded growth both in production of eggs and in the independence of the production of eggs, suggesting that the local production was not substituted by imports from countries which do not prohibit cage housing.

More articles

All articles

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info