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UK is Free of Barren Battery Cages

by 5m Editor
14 February 2012, at 10:46am

UK - Compassion in World Farming has welcomed the fact that the UK is finally free of barren battery cages for laying hens after Defra confirmed the country is fully compliant with the EU ban, which came into force on 1 January.

The UK was among the 14 EU member states not to comply with the barren battery cage ban as 2012 dawned.

But the country is now rid of the cages, 13 years after the decision was taken to ban them throughout the EU from the 1 January this year.

Senior Campaigns Manager, Emma Slawinski, said: "We were horrified to learn that there were still battery cages in this country in January, as the industry and government had been confidently saying the UK would be in line with the new law. But we’re delighted that Defra has acted quickly and made sure hens in this country are no longer kept in these cruel systems.

"Of course, the problem in the UK was nowhere near as bad as in the worst offending states like Spain and Italy which don’t seem to have made any effort at all to comply with the ban."

There are thought to be around 46 million hens still in barren battery cages in the EU despite the ban being agreed on in 1999.

Ms Slawinski added: "Now the UK can put all the necessary pressure on the European Commission and other member states without being accused of not having our own house in order."

The European Commission has begun proceedings against 13 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.