September 19, 2020

5.5 Environment – waste mgt, water mgt, energy

On 19 July 1999 the European Union adopted Directive 1999/74, which lays down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens (the hens that are kept for production of eggs not intended for hatching: Article 2(2)). There are three types of hen-keeping systems outlined in the Directive – alternative, unenriched cage and enriched cage – and the detailed requirements for each are set out in Articles 4-6.

The Directive came into full force on 1 January 2012, which in practice means that eggs from hens kept in barren battery cages are no longer eligible for export or retail sales.     This has had a significant impact across the EU.