The end of battery farms in Britain – but not Europe
A long-awaited ban will come into force on Sunday. But shoppers will still face an ethical choice when buying eggs.. Farmers have freed more than 80 million hens from especially cruel and cramped lives in one of the most significant changes to animal welfare legislation in decades: the end of battery cages.
Spain, France, Poland and others admit they will not be ready to drop battery cages (or just refuse to say when they will be ready) despite having had 13 years to prepare for the change in the treatment of farm animals.
This has led to fears that cheaper,illegal eggs from the Continent will flood into UK wholesalers, manufacturers and caterers – undercutting British egg producers, who say they feel "let down" by the Government's refusal to unilaterally ban eggs from non-compliant EU states. Battery cages prevent hens from exhibiting natural behaviour such as wing flapping, perching and foraging. Battery cages, the most common method of egg production, allow 550cm sq space per bird, less than a sheet of A4 paper.