Agriculture: Eggs

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of The Earl of Shrewsbury The Earl of Shrewsbury Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will pursue a trade ban on eggs and egg products produced by hens housed in conventional cages if more time is given to member states other than the United Kingdom to phase out conventional cages from 1 January 2012.

Photo of Lord Henley Lord Henley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Commission has no plans to bring forward proposals which would allow for such a derogation. However, if the situation were to change and the Commission were to suggest giving more time to some member states, we would aim to find a way of prohibiting eggs produced from hens in conventional cages from entering the UK.

We have recently written to the Commission stating concerns over the probability of EU wide non-compliance and have urged it strongly to put sufficient enforcement measures in place to protect compliant producers if other countries do not meet the 2012 deadline.

On 19 November the Minister of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, met with Commissioner Dalli and others from the Commission to discuss a range of issues which included the 2012 laying hen conventional cage ban. The commissioner made it very clear that there should be no derogation and the Commission has asked member states for information on progress on complying with the deadline.

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