Derogation for Some Countries on Battery Cages?

EU - Derogations may be applied to delay the ban on battery cages for laying hens in some Member States after all.
calendar icon 16 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

In an alarming yet carefully worded statement made by Belgian minister, Sabine Laruelle, on 14 July, the current presidency of the Council of the EU indicated that it may yet be possible for certain Member States to delay the removal of battery cages. According to Eurogroup for Animals, the statement was made during an exchange of views with members of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee.

The use of this type of cage, which dramatically restricts the movement of laying hens and causes much suffering, will be banned in the EU from 1 January 2012. Recent reports have, however, indicated that the egg industry in some EU member states will not be ready to dispose of the cages in time for the deadline which may result in an estimated 30 per cent of all cages in Europe being illegal.

Ms Laruelle, representing the presidency, stated there is no point in postponing the entry into force of the ban, but that "in exceptional cases and under certain circumstances specific derogations for one or two Member States could be envisaged following a thorough discussion in Council."

Just a few months ago, Poland asked the Council to consider a delay of the entry into force of the ban, which was rejected by the European Commission, which opposes any delay. Eurogroup adds that it will carefully monitor future developments to ensure the battery cage ban enters into force in all 27 Member States in 2012.

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