Hungary has previously undertaken to conform to EU directive regulations on the modernisation of the cages of laying hens by July 31, 2012. Today's warning from Brussels in no way effects this commitment.
According to the European Union Directive on the protection of laying hens, the use of traditional poultry cages should have been eliminated by no later than December 31, 2011. According to the directive, starting in January 1 2012, farms with over 350 laying hens may only keep poultry in cages which conform to certain additional standards.
14 EU member states, including Hungary, were unable to fully conform to the new regulations by the allotted deadline. In view of difficulties related to switching to the new type of cage, in 2011 the European Commission recommended that those farmers who had already begun the modernisation of their cages in 2011 be given an additional 7 month transition period in which to terminate the use of traditional cages.
In accordance with this recommendation, Hungary undertook to conform to the regulations of the EU Directive by July 31, 2012, within the framework of an Action Plan. The Hungarian authorities are continuously monitoring and making priority checks on the transition process. The European Union began a non compliance procedure with regard to the modernisation of battery cages in January of this year, and today's decision by Brussels is the final warning before the deadline determined in the separate agreement. Hungary is keeping its promise and will perform the modernisation of battery cages by July 31, 2012.
(Press Office of the Ministry of Rural Development)