§ Mr. Andrew Smith
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, following the implementation of Council directive 86/113/EEC under S.I. 1987, No. 2020, on the welfare of battery hens, he will estimate(a) the percentage of battery farmers who are currently producing under the new regulations; (b) the percentage of battery farmers who are currently producing using old-style cages before the final enforcement date in 1995 and (c) his Department's current figure of the number of battery farmers found to be producing illegally.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
The Welfare of Battery Hens Regulations lay down various specific requirements on cage design, which do not apply to existing cages until 1995. There is also a schedule of further requirements which applied from 1 January. All the provisions of the regulations apply immediately to new cages. My staff will continue to visit battery units to check that farmers are complying with the regulations and to advise on any necessary changes.