18 Feb 2010

Say 'No' to Postponement of Battery Cage Ban

The EU Agricultural Council is meeting on Monday, 22 February, to discuss a proposed delay to the EU-wide 2012 battery cage ban by 5 years. This is disgusting and indeed terrible news for hens who are forced to endure the dire conditions in battery cages on farms.

Photo: Severn viewed from top of Ash Lane, Randwick

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - otherwise known as 'PETA' - is urging Jim Fitzpatrick, Defra Minister of State, who is responsible animal welfare, to stand up and oppose this proposal. Please sign the letter here. Or sign a similar letter from Compassion in World Farming here.

Each year in the EU, approximately 300 million hens are crammed into tiny wire-mesh battery cages that are stacked tier upon tier in huge warehouses. Of course if a ban comes in Defra, perhaps understandably, wants to protect UK farmers from imports of battery eggs that may still be produced – illegally – in other EU countries after 1 January 2012. But postponement is the wrong way to go.

Here is how Compassion in World Farming describe Defra's position: "They want the EU Egg Marketing Regulation – which currently prohibits the sale of battery eggs after 1 January 2012 – to be changed to permit the sale of battery eggs as long as they are only sold in the country of production and not exported to other countries. This will mean that producers in countries like Spain and Poland will have little incentive to get rid of their battery cages as they will still be able to sell their battery eggs after 1 January 2012."

Egg producers have already been given a far too generous period (in my view) of 12 years to phase out the conventional battery cage. Postponement is not the way to go. Please join me in signing one of those letters.

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

The European ban on barren battery cages was rejected at a meeting of EU Council of Agriculture Ministers on February 22.

The Polish government proposed to postpone the 2012 ban on the conventional battery cage to a more enriched cage until 2017. DEFRA was also considering the possibility of seeking a change to the EU Egg Marketing Regulation that would simply prevent the export of eggs from caged hens to countries that have fully implemented the ban. This would have completely undermined the ban, condemning millions of hens in some European member states to continued suffering inside barren, conventional cages.

Great stuff!