Compassion is delighted to learn that the vast majority of MEPs strongly support the battery cage ban, which is due to come into force on 1 January 2012.
In light of recent threats to the ban from some European industry and government representatives, this is very positive news for the 250 million laying hens kept in barren battery cages across the EU.
On 16 December 2010 the European Parliament approved a resolution against any attempt to evade the 2012 EU ban on barren battery cages for laying hens.
Protecting hen welfare
The European Parliament opposed any postponement of or derogations to the ban, since this would "seriously harm the welfare of hens." The resolution, which was adopted by 459 votes to 32 (with 17 abstentions), urges the European Commission to:
stick to the ban and strongly oppose any attempts by Member States to obtain a deferral or exemptions
take "urgent action" towards Member States to ensure that egg producers comply with the ban
step up its monitoring of Member States' compliance with the ban and submit, by 31 December 2011, a list of egg and egg-product producers, processors and retailers who are not complying with the law.
MEPs also called for national action plans with "dissuasive sanctions" to be put in place.
We need to remain vigilant
MEPs are concerned that a "substantial number" of Member States and 30% of EU egg production may not be compliant with the ban by the 1 January deadline.
But Compassion in World Farming's Director of Public Affairs Joyce D'Silva said: "EU egg producers have had 12 years to get rid of their barren battery cages. There is no excuse for not meeting the deadline - in fact producers in several countries have already moved to alternative systems."
Compassion in World Farming is campaigning vigorously to ensure the ban deadline is met in full.
Please help us by urging Caroline Spelman, UK Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to: