The information requested is not available. However, DEFRA estimates that 600,000 birds are now kept in enriched poultry cages. A further 250,000 birds are kept in conventional cages installed during 2001-02 which could be easily converted to enriched cages.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 bans the conventional cage from 2012. Laying hens may only be kept in enriched cages or non-cage systems after this date. Any further changes to systems of production must be made at European Union level.
All poultry keepers must be acquainted with DEFRA's Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Laying Hens. The code makes it clear that, under regulation 10 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2000, hens may not be kept in conventional cages from 1 January 2012. The code is available on the DEFRA website at:
DEFRA has also been looking in more detail at the welfare aspects of enriched cages through its research programme. Projects have involved collaboration with the poultry industry.