15 October 2012
Sir Graham Watson (ALDE)
The European Union has brought in legislation to ensure minimum laying standards for hens (Directive 1999/74/EC). However, the EU still allows the import of eggs and egg products from third countries, some of which do not have such high animal welfare standards.
EU labelling rules ensure that consumers are informed as to the conditions in which hens are kept: 0 for organic eggs; 1 for free range eggs; 2 for barn eggs; 3 for caged eggs. These rules do not cover egg products.
In light of these higher welfare standards, has the Commission considered improving the requirements relating to the labelling of egg products, in order to identify (1) their place of origin (be it within or outside the EU) and (2) the conditions in which laying hens are kept?
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission
6 December 2012
The Commission is not considering an amendment of the Egg Marketing Regulation(1) so as to introduce similar animal welfare labelling systems for egg products as exists today for eggs(2).
(1) Council Regulation (EC) No 589/2008 of 23 June 2008 laying down detailed rules for implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards marketing standards for eggs, OJ L 163, 24.06.2008, p 6.
(2) Article 12(2) and Article 30.