Activists fight to secure cage ban

EU - Animal rights campaigners and an MEP are fighting to thwart a campaign to delay a Europe-wide ban on battery-caged hens.
calendar icon 28 August 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
The ban on conventional cages under the European Laying Hens Directive 1999 is due to come into force in 2012, but the British Egg Industry Council wants to push the ban back an extra five years. It is reluctant to change to the larger enriched cages that the directive recommends until a review that was due in January 2005 is completed.

Labour MEP for Scotland David Martin and charity Advocates for Animals are urging European commissioners to uphold the ban. Martin said: “ There continues to be strong scientific evidence that these cages represent an extremely poor environment for hens each of which is given floor space of less than an A4 sheet of paper .”

Advocates for Animals policy director Libby Anderson said: “ Ideally we would like to see all cages banned but the fact that they are resisting even the enriched cages is worrying.”

Last year around 63% of all UK produced egg products came from a cage system. Free-range eggs accounted for 30% of eggs and 6.5% were from a barn system. Currently 300 million hens are kept in battery cages throughout the EU.

Source: Sunday Herald
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