Eurogroup for Animals is calling on egg producers to work towards replacing their conventional cages, following on yesterday’s announcement by the French presidency of the EU that it would oppose any proposals to delay the 2012 ban.

Michel Barnier, French minister of agriculture, made the statement during a meeting of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals in Brussels.

cage chicken

The minister said: “I would not like us to go back on that date. I would not like to see it postponed. That is the Council position, that battery farming should cease on that day.”

His comments have been welcomed by Eurogroup as this is the first time France has clarified its position regarding a possible delay. Producers have put pressure on the Commission to delay the implementation and some have stopped investing in alternatives systems.

Sonja Van Tichelen, director of Eurogroup for Animals said: “There is no longer an excuse not to be working on replacing the conventional cages. France has clearly stated that it is against any delays of the ban.

Late last year, the UK government announced that it was against any delay in the UK and would be working to ensure the deadline is met across the EU.