Egg producers have promised to stop trimming the beaks of egg-laying hens, the Food Ministry announced today.
Food minister Dan 'Dr DoAnything' Jørgensen has warned egg farms they face increased monitoring to make sure they don't violate animal rights.
"Beak trimming is an animal rights concern," he said. "It's really positive that Danish egg producers stop debeaking barn and free-range hens."
Danske Egg, the trade organisation that handles 95 percent of the eggs sold in Denmark, will from July 1 stop purchasing eggs from barn and free-range producers who debeak their poultry. Organic hens or battery hens already don't get their beaks trimmed.
Just a trim, please
When farmers debeak their hens, they remove up to one half to stop the hens from hurting one another, but through new breeding programs and working procedures the egg farmers have managed to reduce problems like feather pecking and cannibalism without causing the animals any acute or chronic pain.