Germany unable to satisfy demand for table eggs
Starting on 1 January, Berlin banned the use of conventional battery cages in egg farms. Press Europ reports that this prompted something of a mass prison break for 60% of Germany's hens.
However, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the transposition of article 5 of the European directive for the protection of egg-laying hens has fouled market conditions. The citizens of the federal republic are eating more and more eggs — 214 per head and per year in 2009 — and the new legislation has meant that Germany is unable to keep up with demand.
In 2009, difficulties associated with the new rules resulted in the production of 2 bln fewer eggs. Worse still, only Austria and Sweden have outlawed the use of small cages, and Germany's early compliance with the law laid down in Brussels has paved the way for imports from other EU countries where rearing conditions have yet to be upgraded.
In 2009, Germany imported a total of 4.9 bln eggs — 1 in every 2 eaten in the country — many of them from the Netherlands, where "44% of hens live in cages", a fact not mentioned on the packaging concerned. Fortunately, the newspaper has some positive advice for consumers that are liable to squawk about the new law: look inside the box. If the eggs bear the stamp "1-NL," they were laid by happier hens, reports state.
Source: Press Europ
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