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MEP calling for action on battery farming

Friday 24th December 2010
AN MEP has called for tough action against countries still allowing battery farming.

Fiona Hall, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North-East, said it was outrageous that some EU countries had made so little progress in phasing out "cruel" battery cages.

Member states face a deadline of January 1, 2012, to eliminate the practice, in which hens are farmed in small wire cages and reportedly allowed less floor space than an A4 sheet of paper.

Last week, the European Parliament backed the EU Commission’s plans to retain the deadline in the face of attempts from some nations to extend it.

Ms Hall said: “European egg producers have had ten years to make the transition to the new standards. There is no excuse for extending the deadline.

"I know from working with the National Farmers´ Union that egg producers in the UK have invested millions to comply with the legislation.

"I am determined that they should not be penalised for raising their animal welfare standards while those in other EU member states are let off the hook.

"It is time to start naming and shaming those who do not comply with minimum standards for hen welfare and to put in place strict sanctions."

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