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NFU Raises Concerns as Cage Ban Deadline Nears

by 5m Editor
29 September 2010, at 9:17a.m.

UK - Concerned about the apparent lack of preparedness for some EU Member States for the battery cage ban from January 2012, the National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling for a labelling system that will allow eggs from enriched cages to be distinguished from those from conventional battery cages.

The Welfare of Laying Hens Directive (Council Directive (EC) No 1999/74) lays down minimum welfare standards for laying hens. The Directive prohibits the use of conventional (i.e. battery) cages from 1 January, 2012. After this date egg production in the EU will only be allowed in enriched colony cages or non cage systems (e.g. free range, barn, or organic).

It is clear than some European Member States will not make the deadline for conversion.

In the conclusion of the briefing paper on the situation, the NFU concludes: 'The UK egg industry is completely unsupported and market driven and showcases some of the highest welfare, food safety, traceability and environmental standards in the world. It is ludicrous that UK egg producers could be put at a commercial disadvantage by complying with European legislation. It is essential that eggs produced in conventional cages can be identified and therefore forced to remain within the Member State of production to protect our producers being subjected to competition from cheaper illegal imports.'

To comment on the NFU briefing paper, click here.

Further Reading

- You can view the NFU briefing paper by clicking here.