British Lion egg producers appalled...

British Lion egg producers appalled that some UK hens still in battery cages
- Consumers urged to look for the British Lion mark to ensure legal eggs -

British Lion egg producers, representing 85% of UK egg production, say they are appalled that some UK egg producers are still keeping hens in conventional battery cages despite an EU ban from 1 January 2012.  

All British Lion cage flocks are compliant with the EU Welfare of Laying Hens Directive and all British Lion cage eggs now come from hens kept in more animal welfare-friendly colony cages.

However Defra has admitted that a small number of non-Lion cage producers, representing a small proportion of UK production, have not met the deadline for conversion.

British Egg Industry Council Chairman, Andrew Parker, said: “We are disgusted that these few producers are still using banned barren battery cages.  It is illegal and is grossly unfair on the vast majority of UK producers who have invested £400m in ensuring that they meet the new standards on time.  We urge the enforcement authorities to take immediate action against any non-compliant producer.”

Around 50 million hens – producing 40 million eggs a day – are known to still be in banned battery cages in several other EU member states, including Italy, Spain and Poland.  The BEIC has commenced Judicial Review proceedings against Defra because of their failure to ban imported eggs and egg products produced in illegal cages.

To avoid eggs laid in barren battery cages, consumers should look for the British Lion mark on eggs and egg packs which guarantees that the eggs are both legal and produced to the higher animal welfare standards.