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Hen Welfare Directive Discussed at Ag Council

by 5m Editor
21 October 2011, at 11:47am

EU - At the 3120th meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg this week under the presidency of Marek Sawicki, Minister for Rural Development of Poland, there were discussions on the CAP reform proposals, implementation of the laying hens directive, the fisheries partnership agreement with Guinea Bissau and amendments of fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks.

Main results of the Council

As regards agriculture, ministers had an exchange of views on the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform package, thus initiating in the Council the debate on the future of CAP for the months. to come.

In addition, the Council held a policy debate on the distribution of food products to the most deprived persons in the Union. Ministers could not secure a majority in favour of the Commission proposal.

A qualified majority in favour of a decision on the position of the EU in the framework of the International Organisation for Vine and Wine (OIV) could not be reached.

Finally, the Council was briefed on the implementation of the directive concerning the welfare of laying hens.

Implementation of the laying hens directive

Ministers were briefed by the Commission on the implementation of directive 1999/74 on the protection of laying hens.

During the February Agriculture Council, when this issue was discussed, most delegations were opposed to prolonging the deadline of 1st January 2012 scheduled to phase out conventional cages. They generally considered producers had made huge efforts on this important animal welfare issue and delaying implementation would be unfair on these farmers.

The Commission presented the assessment of the current state of implementation of the ban on conventional cages across the EU, based on the data received by member states and on the outcomes of its inspections. Following this evaluation, the Commission considers that the implementation is still incomplete in some member states and regrets that information is still missing for some countries.

A specific meeting with the member states on this issue is called by the Commission for avoiding potential disruption of the egg market at the end of this year.

Directive 1999/74 provides that conventional cages will have to be phased out in the EU by 1 January 2012 since found unacceptable for animal welfare reasons. This cages have to be replaced either by enriched cages or alternative systems. Member States are primarily responsible for the implementation of the directive, since its adoption.

Further Reading

- You can view the full (provisional) report of the Council meeting by clicking here.