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Increasing our Compassionate Footprint
Letter to Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies - continues ...
On the grounds of the above list of Motivations, we thank you for your urgent consideration of this appeal.
Louise van der Merwe
Representative in South Africa: Compassion in World Farming
Motivation for this Appeal:
Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) is a “consumer protection group” as defined in Section 77 of the CPA, and represents and promotes the interests or protection of some 5 500 South African consumers. Compassion in World Farming (SA) has lobbied supermarket retailers, the South African Poultry Association, and the Departments of Agriculture and Health over a period of six years for a label that identifies the method of production of battery eggs.
Our appeal is based on the following Consumer Rights as determined by the National Consumer Commission, namely...
* Right to Choose
* Right to Disclosure and Information
Conventional battery cages for laying hens are banned in the UK and EU and in certain states in the USA.
They are being phased out in India on the grounds that battery egg farming violates India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and phase-outs are also in progress in Australia and New Zealand. The bans and phase-out periods are in response to widespread consumer objection to the cruelty inherent in battery farming.
At the Seminar on Food Labelling and Consumer Protection in South Africa, hosted in Pretoria by the Department of Trade and Industry on 25th November 2015, panelists’ comments supported our endeavours. Comments included:
“We need a powerful consumer education programme to help create informed consumerism.”
– Adv. Neville Melville, Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman and speaker at the Seminar.
“The CPA promotes a culture of consumer rights and responsibilities and is there to help people make informed choices – from farm to fork.”
– Ms Thezi Mabuza, National Consumer Commission and speaker at the Seminar.
We note the recent comments by Professor Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst, Statistical Analyst at the International Egg Commission (IEC), as included in the IEC’s Special Economic Report, April 2015, namely:
In Africa... “the animal welfare discussion has not even started” and alternative housing of hens away from battery cages “will not happen within the next one or two decades.”
We believe these comments demean the consumers of Africa and point very clearly to the need for clear labelling on egg cartons.
We believe that the lack of identification of method of production on egg cartons containing battery eggs indirectly gives a misleading or deceptive representation of the goods (Section 41. (1) (a)(b) and (c) of the CPA). It is our experience that consumers buying battery eggs do not assume the eggs are laid in battery cage conditions and instead, assume that all eggs are laid by hens kept in conditions depicted in farm-yard fairy-tale books.