Compassion in World Farming has claimed that the EU Commission is considering scrapping legislation requiring eggs to be labelled according to farming method.

The animal welfare body believes that DG Agriculture of the European Commission may shortly recommend that the EU should repeal its legislation that requires eggs and egg packs to be labelled with the method of production.

Current EU legislation requires clear and honest labelling of eggs with the method of production, either free range, barn, organic or cage. For example, cage eggs have to be labelled as “eggs from caged hens”.

However, under the EU proposal, this compulsory labelling would be replaced by a voluntary scheme.

CIWF chief policy adviser Peter Stevenson has highlighted that compulsory labelling by method of production has been an important contributing factor in the decline in demand for cage eggs, meaning that fewer hens in the EU endure a life of confinement.

“The success of the labelling legislation has been largely due to the fact that it has been compulsory for all methods of production, including the lower welfare systems.”

He added: “This threat to EU labelling law is extremely disappointing. There is a consumer demand for clear and honest labelling. We must ensure this legislation is retained.”