Battery farming set to end in 2012

16 June 1999

Battery farming set to end in 2012

EUROPEAN agriculture ministers have decided to ban battery cages for hens – but not until 2012.

No new cages can be installed after 1 January, 2003. No compensation will be paid.

Producers face the choice of free-range farming or housing hens on perches in barns. Alternatively, hens could be held in larger cages which would be double the size of a battery cage and give each a nest, perch and a scratching strip.

Standards for what the European Union have dubbed the “enriched cage” are to be agreed by ministers before 1 January, 2002.

Andrew Joret, animal welfare chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said it would be important that the legislation was enforced to ensure any producer got a commercial advantage by not applying the standards.

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