The European Commission has taken the next step in infringement proceedings against the remaining member states that have failed to comply with the conventional cage ban for poultry producers.
Belgium, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal still allow the use of un-enriched cages for laying hens despite the ban which came into force in January 2012. The EC sent reasoned opinions demanding them to inform the commission of measures being taken to ensure full compliance.
In a statement the commission said no further steps were being taken against Bulgaria, Latvia, or Romania, which all now claim to be fully compliant. However, the commission said it is "assessing additional information" provided by these three countries to ensure the information is correct. To demonstrate this, each country will need to prove that poultry farms still using un-enriched cages have been converted or closed.
"Full compliance by member states is essential to avoid market distortions and unfair competition. Member states who still allow the use of "un-enriched" cages put businesses that invested in complying with the new measures at a disadvantage. Member states have had 12 years to ensure a smooth transition to the new system and to implement the Directive," a spokesman from the EU said.