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Battery Egg Production

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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13.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the welfare implications of battery egg production systems.

The Government have commissioned extensive research into the welfare implications of battery production and other egg production systems. The EC battery hens directive is to be reviewed by the European Commission by the end of 1992 and I shall be seeking a number of welfare improvements including an increase in the minimum space allowance for caged birds.

26.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects to announce modifications to the regulations regarding battery egg production to improve the welfare of the laying hens.

I plan to introduce amendments to the Welfare of Battery Hens Regulations 1987 later this year which will include improvements to the design of cage openings. The EC Commission is required by the battery hens directive to review current systems for the keeping of laying hens and to bring forward any appropriate proposals for change by the end of 1992.