Welfare of Laying Hens Directive-Implications for the egg industry - further information

Background to inquiry

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee agreed to examine the implications of EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC: the Welfare of Laying Hens. 
The Directive prohibits the use of conventional cages (commonly referred to as ‘battery cages’) for laying hens from 1 January 2012.
The Committee considered in particular:

  • The implications of the Directive for the egg production, food processing and manufacturing sector
  • How the European Commission plans to ensure compliance with the Directive
  • Defra support for the egg and egg products industry

Report and Government Response

The Report was published on 2 September 2011 and the Government Response was published on Friday 25 November 2011:

Vol I - Report and oral evidence and printed written evidence (html version)   (PDF version)

Virtual Vol II - Additional written evidence received (html version)  (PDF version)

8th Special Report - Welfare of Laying Hens Directive—Implications for the egg industry: Government response to the Committee's Ninth Report of Session 2010-12 (html version)  (pdf version)

Related correspondence

Oral evidence

The transcripts of the sessions listed below are published with the Report.

Wednesday 2 March 2011 

Witnesses: The British Egg Industry Council; Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA); The British Retail Consortium; and Noble Foods Ltd

Watch webcast of session on Parliament Live TV

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Witnesses: European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumer Policy (DG SANCO); and Rt Hon James Paice MP, Minister of State, and Sue Ellis, Head of Animal Welfare, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Watch webcast of session on Parliament Live TV

Further oral evidence

On 25 April 2012 the Committee held a further oral evidence session on this subject.

25 April 2012 - Transcript of session

Witnesses: Andrea Gavinelli, Head of Animal Welfare Unit, European Commission and Bente Bergersen, European Commission; Terry Jones, Communications Director, Food and Drink Federation 

Call for evidence