Lowerhouse Czechia votes to ban cages for laying hens

The lower house of the Parliament of Czechia voted 'YES' to ban cages for laying hens from 2027. In the agrifish Council, Czechia called on the European Commission to submit a proposal to ban the production of eggs from laying hens in cages in the EU by 2030. 

eggs
©A.Murawska

On 16 September 2020, the lower house of the Parliament in Czechia voted in favor to ban cages for laying hens from 2027. In Czechia, approximately 4.5 million hens are raised in cages each year. The new ban, which still needs a formal approval by the upper house of the Czech Parliament and the President, will cover cages for both laying hens and laying breeders.

Following this outcome, the minister of Agriculture in Czechia asked the European Commission to consider a harmonised ban on caged laying hens from 2030 at the latest to keep equal conditions within the Union single market.

"There are more and more voices in society for further increasing the well-being of laying hens. Some states ban the breeding of hens in enriched cages and require that eggs come only from alternative farms. I think it is possible, but there must be a uniform approach to it throughout the Union, otherwise we will disadvantage those states that adopt the ban on cage farming, "said Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman.

The European Commission and some countries welcomed the Czech proposal, such as Austria, France, Denmark, Sweden or Slovakia. The Czech side asks the European Commission to analyze the current situation with EU farms and submit a legislative proposal to ban cage farming throughout the Union. Imports of eggs from third countries, where producers do not have to comply with strict animal welfare requirements, also need to be addressed according to a statement by the ministry of Agriculture in Czechia.