From 2004, supermarkets in the Netherlands will stop selling eggs from hens that live in battery cages.

All large supermarkets in the country will only sell free-range eggs and eggs from poultry farms that raise hens in open barns, according to animal rights group Wakker Dier.

Dutch retailers Schuitema and Laurus both said last week that they would ban the sale of battery eggs from 2004. Other supermarkets, such as Albert Heijn, Aldi, Dirk van den Broek and Lidl, had already agreed to sell only free-range eggs, reported the Dutch News Digest.