Search icon

Commission acts on battery cage ban

News Section Icon Published 26/01/2012

We are delighted the EU Commission has acted in the battle to enforce the barren battery cage ban.

The EU institution started the procedure that could see 13 EU member states facing fines from the European Court of Justice for not complying with the Union-wide ban which came into force on 1st January.

The UK, where it was revealed two weeks ago that a small proportion of egg farmers were flouting the ban, must now act to ensure it avoids the shame of becoming the 14th rogue state which has failed to implement the ban. Compassion is calling on Defra to act swiftly against those farmers still flouting the ban on January 1st.

A Commission spokesperson said today that action would be taken against the UK "next month" if barren battery cages were still being used.

A total of 13 states have been sent formal letters about their non-compliance. The letter effectively starts infringement proceedings against the countries to make sure the ban is fully implemented.

This is a clear sign of intent from the Commission that the ban will be fully enforced and we are pleased a clear message is being sent that the new law is being taken seriously.

According to the Commission, around 46 million of the EU's 363 million laying hens are still in cages. This is unacceptable, especially as the law was agreed in 1999.

We hope the Commission's actions today act as a signal of the intent in the EU as a whole not to allow individual countries to ignore an important advance in welfare for millions of hens.

Take Action


You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).