Friday, February 25, 2011

EU ban on barren battery cages

In 1999 the EU agreed to a ban on barren battery cages, giving a generous 12 year period to Member States to prepare for it. This ban is due to come into effect in 2012 but there are still doubts that it will actually happen, in particular because Poland maintains that as they did not join the EU until later, they have not had as much time as other countries to prepare - a very disingenuous position given that it was still public knowledge and they could easily have been making preparations while doing everything else they needed to become a Member State.

Compassion in World Farming has been running a campaign to try and make sure that the ban does come into full effect as planned. If anyone is living in Europe and feels stronlgy about this, you can send off a message from here to the Polish Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister. I'm never sure that petitions and online letter-writing campaigns such as this really work (I tend to be of the opinion that no politician really cares what I think) but it will take a few seconds of your time and may do something. Of course, it is also important to vote with your purse and not purchase cage-based products to avoid mixed messages. :)


heather in europe said...

Thanks for the info. Here in the UK, we have stores like M&S that are only doing free range, both in eggs and products that contain eggs.

This will come to be, this ban, it's only a matter of time, and the time is coming soon...

Moonwaves said...

You weren't in the UK at the time the Chicken Out campaign was launched I think. Channel 4 ran a series of programmes (it was in early 2008 iirc) around the topic of chickens (how they're treated while alive and once they have been slaughtered). The Jamie Oliver program was interesting for bringing up the issue of egg in products, which I hadn't really considered before. And the HFW Chicken Run program was very interesting - since no industrial chicken producer would let him in to film, he bought an old chicken factory and set up his own operation, using half of it to raise free-range birds and the other half as non-free range. The debate raged for weeks afterwards about how realistic it really was etc. They may still be available to view on the 4ondemand site for anyone in the UK. I think several producers did make free-range pledges following the programs (Hellmanns is one that comes to mind but I can't remember if they were given as an example of a company doing it already or if they pledged on-air to go completely free-range).