SPAIN has finally agreed to ban battery hens.

The government has confirmed that all battery farmers will have to switch to so-called ‘enriched’ cages or a free range system by January 2012.

The EU-wide change comes after mounting pressure from the European Network for Farm Animal Protection (Enfap).

The group sent more than 16,000 emails to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture as part of its ‘Big Move’ campaign, ensuring that farmers were prepared for the new law.

Michele Danan from Compassion in World Farming, congratulated the Spanish government for taking a step which should release up to 40 million hens from cages.


“It is fantastic news that Spain has agreed to obey the new EU law in January,” she said.

Farmers now have to submit action plans to the government in preparation of the big move.

The good news is that 64 per cent of Spaniards are prepared to pay more for eggs produced by happier hens.

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  1. That’s good news, I’ve looked after rescued battery hens and when they came to us they were in a terrible state, I certainly would not wish to eat eggs from a bird treated so badly. Both the UK and Spain are implementing the EU ban on battery cages for hens in 2012 and from what I’ve seen the sooner the better.

  2. Your article says that Spain has *finally* agreed to ban battery hens, as if we have been dragging our feet on this.

    The EU Regulation, passed in 2002, specified that no new battery cages for egg production should be built after January 2003 and they must all be phased out by 2012.

    Only Germany, Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands introduced the ban before the 2012 deadline. All the rest, Spain and the UK included, are following the letter of the law.

    It is undoubtedly good news for European chickens and consumers, but why make Spain look like one of the bad guys? We also produce more free-range eggs than most countries, not for commercial reasons but because so many people keep their own hens!

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