To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the use of unenriched hen cages in Australia, (2) how such cages comply with British standards, and (3) whether eggs and egg products from hens caged this way will qualify for zero import tariffs under the in-principle Free Trade Agreement agreed on 15 June.
The Government is committed to scrutiny of animal welfare considerations in FTAs through a range of measures, including relative animal welfare standards. This includes standards and industry practices for Australian egg production. Conventional (“battery”) cages for laying hens have been banned in the UK since 2012.
The Free Trade Agreement will contain a commitment to an Animal Welfare Working Group to provide a forum for ongoing cooperation and initiatives in areas of mutual interest, to review animal welfare developments and to promote high animal welfare practices.
The UK tariff treatment for pigs, poultry and eggs from Australia is not yet determined.