Rearing of laying hens in unenriched cages only permitted for two more years


<p>The rearing of laying hens in unenriched cages will be prohibited in the member countries of the EU as of 1 January 2012. Regulations pertaining to the protection of laying hens have provided a transition period of almost 12 years, which will end on 31 December 2011. At present, about 60% of production in Finland still takes place in traditional unenriched cages.</p>

As of 1 January 2012, egg production will be permitted in non-cage housing systems (deep litter and aviary systems) as well as in enriched cage systems. Hens here refer to hens of the species Gallus gallus, which are kept for laying eggs for human consumption. Enriched cages refer to cages, in which the hens can peck and scratch litter, lay in a nest and roost on appropriate perches, and which have an area of at least 750 cm 2 per hen.

If violations against the ban are found in animal welfare control, the animal welfare authorities are obliged to take action according to the Animal Welfare Act. Violations may also result in the supports paid to the farmer being cut.

It should also be taken into account that eggs stamped as cage eggs (No. 3) shall as of 1 January 2012 be produced in cages, which fulfil at least the requirements applied to enriched cages.

For more information, please contact:
Helena Hepola, Senior Inspector, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 24251
Taina Mikkonen, Section Head, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 2422
Taina Lehdonkivi, Senior Officer (egg stamping), tel. +358 (0) 20 77 24783


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