Battery hen farms face legal action

European health commissioner says he will ban sales of eggs from businesses still ignoring 12-year ban

20 January 2012

FRENCH farmers are to face a European Union crack-down after ignoring a law outlawing battery hen farms.

Farmers have had 12 years to comply with the law, which was introduced in 1999, and European health commissioner John Dalli said that after the deadline passed on December 31 there would be "zero tolerance" for those who did not respect it.

Legal action will be taken in the next few days to ban battery hen farmers from selling eggs to shops and supermarkets or for export.

The law said that hens should either live in the open or in new "humane" cages, which have to be at least 750 sq.cm. Battery hens live in cages which do not allow them to turn, to preen or flap their wings - the cages are often not much bigger than themselves.

In all, 14 countries have been warned that their farmers will face action and 23% of total EU egg production could be affected - up to 51 million hens.

Photo: Ethelred/Wikimedia Commons

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Brexit and Beyond for Britons in France*
Featured Help Guide
What the Brexit deal means for UK residents of France, second homeowners and visitors in 2021 and after
Get news, views and information from France