Battery hens

RESEARCH from the RSPCA has shown that 88 percent of people in Cambridgeshire don’t know about the new rules due to be introduced from January 1, 2012 to end cruelty to battery hens.

Cambridgeshire Euro MP Richard Howitt, who is championing the new rules voted in the European Parliament and who is also national vice-president of the RSPCA, says almost 70 percent of people in the new survey agreed that shops should stop selling cage eggs.

Eight EU countries are failing to abide the rules for 17 million hens and Labour’s Mr Howitt is joining with the RSPCA to appeal to local shops and supermarkets to only buy the more humanely produced eggs

Mr Howitt said: “It is simply ludicrous that some other EU countries are flouting these new rules.

“Farmers across Cambridgeshire are in the process of investing in new equipment to improve the welfare of hens and it’s totally unfair if producers elsewhere in Europe aren’t playing by the same rules.

“Of course we must continue to put strong pressure on these countries to get their house in order when it comes to animal welfare in the European Parliament, including the threat of legal action.”

He is urging shoppers to think more carefully about where their eggs come from and asking supermarkets to make sure they source their eggs from responsible producers.