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Unbelievably Italy and Greece are still defying the EU cage ban with an
estimated 20 million birds kept in illegal systems.
And now the European Commission has rightly decided to take both countries to the EU
Court of Justice over their failure to correctly implement Directive
Like all
other EU member states they had twelve years to ensure a smooth transition to the new
system and to implement the Directive.
At the end of January 2012, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to 13 EU
Member States insisting they take action to address deficiencies in the implementation of
the EU legislation, and specifically to implement the ban on cages for laying hens which
came into force on 1st January 2012.
The continued failure by Italy and Greece to employ full compliance continues to lead to
unfair competition and causes our farmers considerable problems. We felt the full impact of
these problems when in March, the hens we were hoping to collect from a farm we have
worked with for years let the birds go to slaughter early simply because there was no
market for their eggs … illegal imports, produced at cheaper cost, were to blame (although
not necessarily from Greece or Italy).