Europe’s hens to have a happier New Year

From tomorrow, 1st January 2012, life for the EU’s laying hens becomes a little better when EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC on the Welfare of Laying Hens comes into force. Under the Directive the use of conventional cages (commonly referred to as ‘battery cages’) for laying hens will be prohibited in the EU as will the marketing of eggs from hens housed in such cages.

The ban on battery cages follows the EU-wide ban on veal crates for calves which came into force in 2007, and will be followed next year by a ban on sow stalls and tethers which comes into force across the EU on 1 January 2013.

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