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To ask Her Majesty's Government what enforcement measures they intend to put in place to ensure that egg producers in European Union member states who will not be compliant with the 1999 European Union Directive on the welfare of laying hens by 1 January 2012 are not able to sell their products in the United Kingdom.
We wish to protect compliant producers from any competitive disadvantage of illegal production in other member states or indeed the UK. The Secretary of State has urged the Commission to put additional enforcement measures in place at European Union level to prevent market disturbance.
One of the options proposed at a stakeholder meeting in Brussels in January 2011 was for the introduction of a time-limited intra-Community trade ban which would restrict the sale of eggs and egg products which continue to be produced from conventional cages after 2012 from being exported outside that member state's border. This and other options are still under consideration by the Commission's legal services.
The UK has consistently called for the ban to be implemented in 2012 with strict enforcement by the EU and we will continue to play a full part in EU discussions on a practical enforcement solution.