Statement about UK egg producers found not to have complied with The Welfare of Laying Hens Directive

Alice Clark, senior scientist from the RSPCA farm animals department said: “European egg producers have had 13 years to change from barren battery cages to other systems such as free-range, barn, organic or even so-called 'enriched' battery cages, so it’s incredibly disappointing to hear that some 30 British producers may not have complied.

“The RSPCA and industry assurance schemes had hoped for an intra-EU trade ban to stop eggs from illegal systems finding their way in to the UK which makes it all the more galling to hear that hens are being kept in illegal conditions in this country.

“The banning of the barren cage is a step forward for hen welfare, which must be fully implemented. However, the RSPCA will continue to campaign for all cages to be banned completely and improve the lives of millions of hens which currently have no more than an A4 sheet of usable space each.

“We would encourage shoppers to look for cage-free eggs and choose barn, free-range or organic preferably with the Freedom Food logo which shows the farm has been inspected to RSPCA standards.”