25 May

“Taking layer welfare to a higher level across Europe”

“Taking layer welfare to a higher level across Europe” . The EU cage ban came into force in 2012. In […]

“Taking layer welfare to a higher level across Europe”

“Taking layer welfare to a higher level across Europe” . The EU cage ban came into force in 2012. In some counties however, primarily furnished and colony cages replaced conventional cage systems. In order to also phase out these and help farmers in transitioning to non-cage systems, the EU pilot project “Best Practice Hens” was started. “This will further improve hens welfare across Europe”, says project coordinator Professor Dr. Bas Rodenburg. 

Bas Rodenburg is Professor of Animal Welfare at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in The Netherlands. From this position, he also took the role of project leader “Best Practice Hens”, which was initiated by the European Commission in May 2021. 

The objective of this so called DG SANTE (the Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety) pilot project is to support egg producers in transitioning to higher welfare-non-cage systems and to further improve animal welfare. 

A consortium, consisting of 7 partners, is developing Best Practices for Non-cage Egg Production Systems. 

Ceva Int 2022 WVEPAH

These Best Practices will provide practical support to egg producers to encourage them convert from cage systems to non-cage systems, including free range and organic production. 

“The first step towards improved layer welfare was taken in 1999, when Council Directive 1999/74 /EC was adopted by the European Union”, says Bas.

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“Currently, we are ten years further in time”, Bas Rodenburg continues. “And EU citizens and




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