An egg farmers’ association was founded on Saturday in Changhua County’s Erlin Township (二林) to improve the self-regulation of egg production following several tainted-egg scares this year.
Recalling cases in which eggs were found to be tainted with the chemical dioxin and the insecticide fipronil, the association chairman Wu Chi-yu (吳啟佑) said that farmers can often only stand by as tainted eggs are destroyed.
The association aims to improve communication among farmers and to regulate egg production totals, he said, adding that almost all egg farmers in the County have joined the association.
After eggs were found to be tainted with fipronil in late August, the price of eggs fell from NT$25.5 to NT$20.5 per 600g, Taipei Egg Retailers’ Union chairman Kao Chuan-mo (高傳謨) said, adding that it would be difficult to boost the price back to NT$25 in such a short time.
The association should help unite egg farmers to tackle industry problems together, said Hsu Chen-chung (許振忠), a professor in National Chung Hsing University’s Department of Animal Science.
Farmers could take turns stopping egg production for one or two months, during which time they could remove problematic chickens, sanitize their farms and introduce new chickens, he said.
Farmers should avoid raising chickens of different ages in the same cage, he said, adding that they should also remove manure more frequently to prevent the spread of diseases by flies or other pests.
To ensure a stable supply of eggs, the association should negotiate with retailers on behalf of individual farmers, he said.
When farmers improve thei farms’ environmental sanitation and achieve better biological management, they can modernize their poultry houses, he added.
The council launched training sessions on Tuesday for egg farmers nationwide, the Council of Agriculture’s poultry farming section head Lee Yi-chien (李宜謙) said.
As most of the association’s members are younger, they may be more willing to accept newer ideas, which makes the council optimistic about improving the domestic egg industry, he said.
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