It's Official: EU Battery Cage Ban Starts January 2012

EU - The implementation of the forthcoming ban on conventional cages for laying hens was confirmed yesterday at a stakeholders' meeting: 1 January 2012.
calendar icon 20 January 2011
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The time frame for the implementation of the ban on the use of conventional cages for laying hens was declared feasible yesterday at a meeting of major European stakeholders in Brussels. These cages will have to be phased out in the EU by 1 January 2012.

The stakeholders also stressed firmly that the circulation of eggs produced in non-compliant systems should be avoided, while they agreed that any new measures to ensure compliance will require further assessment.

The European Commission welcomes the constructive debate that took place yesterday and notes that its outcome will reinforce consumers’ trust in the enforcement of animal welfare rules. It will also ensure the proper functioning of the internal market in terms of eggs and egg products.

The Commission will now analyse all the options emerging from yesterday's meeting and will continue the dialogue with competent authorities and all the sectors concerned in order to ensure the proper enforcement of the legislation.

The Commission organised yesterday's meeting to discuss the state of play regarding the implementation of Council Directive 1999/74/EC on the protection of laying hens. Representatives from the Member States and from industry, farming, animal welfare and consumers' organisations were invited to Brussels to discuss available tools and best practices in order to focus all existing resources on the timely implementation of the ban.

The issue of applying common welfare standards to products of animal origin was also discussed at length during the meeting. Stakeholders agreed that having common welfare standards for products produced into the EU and imported to the Union from third countries would be the preferred option.

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