british egg industry council
Rory joined more than fifty MPs and peers at an event in Parliament hosted by the British Egg Industry Council, which convened the meeting to brief representatives of both Houses on the implementation of the forthcoming Welfare of Laying Hens Directive.
Rory has already pledged his support to his constituency’s egg farmers, who have in the past weeks expressed their concerns to him about the implementation of the new EU directive, and its impact on
egg farming in Penrith and the Border. He commented: “I am absolutely certain that British egg farmers should not be disadvantaged for obeying any law – and I empathise fully with their concerns. I will do all I can to ensure their views are represented fully. This is an important event today: any MP who represents egg farmers must be absolutely up to date on the potential impact of the Laying Hen Welfare legislation on their farms, and I am grateful for the British Egg Industry Council for arranging this.“
In his address to the meeting, Mark Williams, Chief Executive of the British Egg Industry Council highlighted the potential disaster to the UK egg industry if the law is not applied properly across Europe.
Williams pointed to the £400m that the UK industry has invested in ensuring that it meets the requirement of the Directive on time and called on the European Commission to come forward with definite proposals for dealing with eggs and egg products that continue to be produced by hens housed in conventional battery cages. Such eggs and egg products will become illegal from 1 January 2012.
BEIC estimates show that nearly one quarter of EU egg production, or around 70 million eggs a day, will become illegal when the deadline for implementation passes. And while the European Commission has
stated that the ban will be introduced on time, the BEIC believes it is clear that many producers in other member states will not meet the deadline and that strong, effective measures are required to stop the
potential trade in illegal eggs.
Williams said: “Our Government has stated that it stands ‘four square’ with those producers in this country who have made the investment…and that an effective intra-EU ban on the trade of eggs and egg products produced by hens which continue to be housed in conventional (‘battery’) cages after 1st January 2012 should be put in place, to prevent ‘illegal’ eggs and egg products entering the UK. We want to see this support turned into action and reflected by the European Commission.”