Bulgaria says it’s compliant with cage ban

Bulgaria has met the requirements set by the EU Commission regarding laying hen welfare, its minister of agriculture and food, Miroslav Naydenov, has announced.

Speaking last week the minister said Bulgaria had met the end of June deadline set by Brussels and as a result wouldn’t be facing sanctions.

“Since Monday (4 June), all poultry farms in Bulgaria have been raising happier hens and we met the deadline we were given,” said Mr Naydenov.

When the conventional cage ban came into force on 1 January, 14 EU member states had failed to comply with the directive.

Consequently the EU Commission began infringement proceedings against those countries on 26 January, giving two months for them to conform, or they would be taken to the European Court of Justice for prosecution.

Despite the five month delay, the British Egg Industry Council and animal welfare group FOUR PAWS have welcomed the Bulgarian announcement.

“Phasing out illegal cages is a slow process, but it is good to see progress,” added Gabriel Paun, director of campaigns at FOUR PAWS.

It is unknown exactly how many member states are now fully compliant with the conventional cage ban, as the commission has yet to release a statement confirming compliance figures.