In a bid to reduce the consumer confusion about the conditions in which eggs are produced, manufacturers and retailers are to be required to clearly label all eggs with one of three tags; “eggs from caged hens,” “eggs from barn hens” or “eggs from free-range hens.”
Failure to display any of the stamps, or the incorrect stamp, will result in prosecution.
The regulations, set by the European Commission, have been welcomed by the RSPCA, which is hoping that more straightforward labelling will encourage consumers to avoid the eggs laid by battery hens.
“At the moment eggs from battery hens may be labelled ‘farm-fresh’ or ‘country-fresh’. This implies to the consumer the hens are kept in good welfare conditions – and they are not,” RSPCA farm animals spokeswoman Abigail Hall told the Independent on Sunday newspaper.