16 January, 2012
Where British poultry farmers have complied with
cage farming guidelines, 14 European member states have failed,
reports Farmers Guardian.
Katy Lee, spokesperson for UK farming unions in Brussels,
stressed how important it is for other countries to fully implement
the ban on battery cages, which should all have been discarded in
favour of 'enriched cages' by the start of this month.
She pointed out that the European Union is due to ban sow stalls
- prohibited in the UK since 1999 - next year, making the need to
stamp out this trend for non-compliance even more significant.
"In good faith the UK poultry industry has fully complied with
the new laws on the welfare of laying hens and now we are told 14
member states have failed to meet the deadline. This is
unacceptable," said Ms Lee.
More than 46.7 million hens are estimated to still be in battery
cages in countries such as Spain, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium
According to BBC News, a chicken that was named
Britain's last remaining battery hen was rehoused just before the
end of 2011 after being taken in by Jane Howarth, a representative
from the British Hen Welfare Trust.
She told the broadcaster that about 6,000 battery hens were
given new homes in December 2011, including that final bird, which
was appropriately named 'Liberty'.
Source: Vertical Leap