More than 50 Members of Parliament and Peers were in attendance when members of the British Egg Industry Council recently briefed representatives of both Houses on the implementation of the forthcoming Welfare of Laying Hens Directive.
In his address to the meeting, Mark Williams, Chief Executive of the British Egg Industry Council highlighted the potential disaster to the UK egg industry if the law is not applied properly across Europe. Williams pointed to the £400m that the UK industry has invested in ensuring that it meets the requirement of the Directive on time and called on the European Commission to come forward with definite proposals for dealing with eggs and egg products that continue to be produced by hens housed in conventional battery cages. Such eggs and egg products will become illegal from 1 January 2012.
BEIC estimates show that nearly one quarter of EU egg production, or around 70 million eggs a day, will become illegal when the deadline for implementation passes. And while the European Commission has stated that the ban will be introduced on time, the BEIC believes it is clear that many producers in other member states will not meet the deadline and that strong, effective measures are required to stop the potential trade in illegal eggs.
Williams said: “Our Government has stated that it stands ‘four square’ with those producers in this country who have made the investment…and that an effective intra-EU ban on the trade of eggs and egg products produced by hens which continue to be housed in conventional (‘battery’) cages after 1st January 2012 should be put in place, to prevent ‘illegal’ eggs and egg products entering the UK. We want to see this support turned into action and reflected by the European Commission.”
Source: British Egg Industry Council