By Bethany Louise Smith The federal government has brought in new laws to clarify the definition of “free range eggs”. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) introduced the new rules in April. “If you say something is ‘free-range’ then you must comply with the standards,” said a representative of the ACCC. She said the new rules for labelling free range eggs are important. “[They will] ensure businesses do not mislead or deceive in what constitutes to be a free-range product. “You pay extra for free range so consumers should have no doubt in their minds that what is advertised is what the will receive,” she explained. The ACCC decided to launch an investigation into the egg industry after the company Snowdale Holdings was found guilty of misadvertising and misleading the nature of their products. Snowdale Holdings was fined over $1 million last year. Golden Eggs manager Bernard Egan said that the standardisation is a good thing for consumers and the industry. “[Golden Eggs] is in favour of the added transparency given to the consumer and the clarification given to producers.” The RSPCA says it opposes keeping hens in battery cages and is delighted with the ACCC’s new standards. “Free running hens are healthier and happier, [they] also have a lower risk of developing the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and therefore the products harvested from the hens are safer for human consumption,” said an RSPCA spokeswoman.