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Vietnam has joined other Southeast Asian countries in the movement to promote cage-free eggs with the opening of the country’s first cage-free barn with technical support from Humane Society International
Nam Huong is an established mid-scale egg producer in Tien Giang, hence its current capacity of laying hens is 700,000 which is producing about 200 million battery cage eggs per year. Following visits to cage-free operations in the United Kingdom, technical workshops, insights from 14 years of battery cage production, and the mounting shift in consumer demand, Le Van Hoa is establishing one of the first commercial cage-free facilities.
Le Van Hoa, director of Nam Huong, commented, “Vietnam is one of the fast-growing economic countries in the region. I have seen the cage-free egg movement growing in our neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Malaysia. Consumers’ concern regarding animal welfare is increasing and I am expecting Nam Huong would be one of the first producers in Vietnam to make the switch to cage-free housing.”
The transition to cage-free requires investment and specialised management, and with technical support from Humane Society International, Nam Huong is converting two original battery cage houses to cage-free. This initial project will help to free 3,000 laying-hens in the first year.
Hang Le, farm animal welfare manager, HSI in Vietnam, stated, “With the movement from producers, like Nam Huong, HSI urges individual consumers and the food industry to consider farm animal welfare when buying or sourcing eggs. By supporting cage-free producers, consumers can drive Viet Nam’s egg production industry toward a more humane way of farming”.
HSI appreciates the Vietnam government for its forward-thinking approach, keeping animal welfare at the forefront to ensure not only that the animals are well cared for but that farming systems keep pace with international markets.
HSI is helping buyers and producers to transition to cage-free egg production in many ways such as hosting events for a range of stakeholders, from technical workshops for producers to companies that are changing their supply chain throughout Southeast Asia.
To Improve the living conditions of laying hens in Vietnam, Nam Huong and HSI will work together in the upcoming years to plan and convert additional battery cages to cage-free for tens of thousands of hens. This humane journey could not be done by any party alone—awareness, participation and support from the government, society and consumers will be crucial.