RSPCA response to Defra’s written statement on illegal eggs

The RSPCA is pleased Defra has announced some measures to try and protect shoppers from illegal shell eggs but it appears nothing will be done to reliably check whether or not imported liquid eggs come from hens kept in illegal barren battery cages.

The decision to ban barren battery cages was made 13 years ago – plenty of time for producers to make changes and for the European Commission close any loopholes which allow illegal eggs to still be sold as ingredients in products and for catering.

The RSPCA’s calls for an intra-community trade ban appear to have fallen on deaf ears – despite research showing that 78 per cent of the public in England and Wales wanted to be protected from illegal eggs which will not meet minimum welfare requirements.

With less than a month to go before the ban the European Commission’s efforts have been at best shambolic.

The RSPCA wants UK importers, caterers, processors, food manufacturers and retailers to protect the public, they are morally responsible for ensuring the products they sell do not contain illegal eggs.

We also urge the European Commission and member states where there is illegal production to ensure they rigorously enforce the new legislation to improve the lives of millions of hens still being kept in cruel barren battery cages.



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