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Monday, 7 January 2008

All hens' eggs are due to be free-range within two years

All eggs to be free-range within two years

Extract from the Telegraph:

"Sainsbury's, the Co-op and Morrisons have all agreed to ban eggs from caged birds while Marks & Spencer and Waitrose already sell only free-range eggs.

All products containing egg will also use free-range varieties.

The chains will phase out battery hen eggs over the next two years, before an EU ban on battery cages due to come into effect in 2012.

Asda and Tesco have not yet followed suit, but have cut back shelf space given to battery hen eggs.

In Britain, "enriched cages", which are larger and have a perch, nest and litter, will still be legal but Germany will also ban these cages.

The move comes as the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launches a campaign to persuade consumers to demand better welfare for hens.

He examines the poultry industry in a one-off television programme, Jamie's Fowl Dinners, in which he shows a series of films and interviews explaining the brutal living conditions of battery chickens that are killed for meat.

Sainsbury's, which Oliver promotes, said it was the first major supermarket to announce a ban on battery hen eggs and was expected to end the sale of all such eggs by next year.

Morrisons also plans to stop selling eggs from caged hens by 2010. A spokesman said: "We see animal welfare as an extremely important factor when sourcing produce - that's why we have taken action on eggs.""

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