Final days of the battery cage?
Today, nearly 16 months after the EU-wide ban on the barren battery hen cage came into force, the EU Commission referred the last two non-compliant countries to Court.
Despite having had more than 10 years to prepare for the ban on these inhumane cages, 14 European countries still had hens in illegal cages on 1st January 2012 - the day the ban came into force.
Compassion's Big Move Campaign has kept up the pressure, insisting that the law is enforced. Over the course of a year the number of non-compliant nations has fallen from 14 countries to just two.
Those two, Italy and Greece, have 20 million hens still confined in barren battery cages. Compassion, with the help of our supporters, has been directly lobbying the Italian and Greek governments as well as demanding action from the EU Commission.
Today's decision by the Commission to take Greece and Italy to the Court of Justice over the failure to correctly implement the ban is a positive step forward, that could mean the final end for the barren battery cage in the EU.
Commenting on today's announcement, Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming, says: "We hugely welcome the Commission's decision to take Italy and Greece to court and hope this action will finally force these nations to comply with the law. Barren battery cages deny hens their natural behaviours and cause immense suffering. It is outrageous that tens of millions of hens are still being kept in these cages in the EU, more than a year after they became illegal."
The Court proceedings are likely to take some time, and every day that passes is another day in confinement for the hens.
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