With 50 days to go until the EU barren battery cage ban, British consumers are being warned they could unknowingly be eating illegally produced eggs come January.
Compassion in World Farming is urging UK consumers to ask where the eggs in their food come from, as they could be from hens in barren battery cages.
Compassion's Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery, said: "British consumers will be shocked to learn that they may unknowingly be eating cruel and illegally produced eggs in their cakes and quiches come January 1st. Years of heal-dragging means that some European countries will not be ready for the barren battery cage ban in the New Year.
"People can help law-abiding farmers and hen welfare by asking whether the eggs in products are British and cage-free."
The barren battery cage ban was passed in 1999 and is due to come in force in just 50 days. The European Commission has recently issued a stern warning that it could instigate proceedings against non-compliant nations. But the Commission is also considering allowing eggs from hens in barren battery cages to be used in food products in the country of origin and there are no guarantees that these products will not come into Britain.
Latest industry estimates say 84 million hens across the EU will still be in the illegal cages as we welcome in the New Year. UK egg farmers will be fully compliant with the new law but our The Big Move campaign is continuing to put pressure on the Commission and individual member states of the European Union to make sure the ban is fully enforced.
Philip said: "We welcome the European Commission taking action against nations unprepared for the ban; after all, they've had since 1999 to get their houses in order. It is frankly appalling that, with 50 days to go until the ban comes into force, we are having to warn consumers of the danger of illegal eggs come January 2012."
Go to our The Big Move webpage to ask the Commission not to let non-compliant nations get away with flouting the ban.