All hens in the EU will have perches and sand
The EU Commission says starting in 2012 it will be illegal to keep laying hens in cages without perches and sand, reports Swedish Radio News. Farmers who break the law can be charged in European Union Court.
Sweden's Agricultural Minister, Eskil Erlandsson, says the law is a good idea.
The EU decided 12 years ago to ban the practice, but special exceptions have been made that were meant to last until the end of 2012. Egg producers have tried to extend the exception.
The rule is meant to protect laying hens, but it also evens out competition. Egg producers in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Poland put laying hens in unfurnished cages, and this gives these producers a competitive edge over producers who furnish cages with perches and sand.