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European  Commission urges Member States to implement ban on hen cages or risk facing legal action

Animals Count is heartened by the news that the the European Commission this week once again urged Member States to implement a ban on un-enriched cages for laying hens, which enters into force on 1st January 2012, and warned that it will adopt measures against those that will fail to comply with the relevant EU legislation.
“The political decision for the ban was taken in 1999. Twelve years have gone by and the situation in some Member States is reportedly unsatisfactory. The consequences on animal welfare and the risk of market distortions are real. These would undermine investments and compliance efforts already made as well as consumer trust and this is clearly unacceptable,” Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli said during his intervention at this week’s Agriculture Council, which discussed the issue. “The Commission,” he added, “does not intend to postpone the deadline of the ban and it will not hesitate to start, infringement procedures in cases of non-compliance.”
Commissioner Dalli also announced that experts from the Commission’s inspection service, the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), will start visiting targeted Member States as of January 2012. Any decisions on infringement procedures will be based on the outcomes of these audits.