MAFF welfare officials are warning egg producers to be on their guard against bogus ministry inspectors.
In a letter to the UK Egg Producers Association, an official from MAFFs animal welfare division says it has received reports of people posing as ministry officials to gain entry to battery units and to measure cages.
She says such cases are rare but reminds producers that only state vets have powers of entry to enforce battery hen welfare rules.
"Where a veterinary officer is to visit they will contact the producer by telephone or letter to make an appointment. In all cases they should be asked to show their identification," the letter says. *