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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 27 October 2020
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Battery farming of hens to be banned from this weekend

Small, cramped cages will be illegal from 1 January as an EU-wide directive comes into force.

Free-range chicken farmer Tim McGlynn of Oldcourt in Tallaght today.
Free-range chicken farmer Tim McGlynn of Oldcourt in Tallaght today.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

AN EU-WIDE BAN on small, cramped cages for hens is set to come into effect from this Sunday.

From 1 January, birds will need to have enough space to spread their wings and move around.

Animal welfare campaigners had fought for years for the new law, which will allow birds up to 750 square centimetres of space.

Under the old regulations, birds had just 550 square centimentres of space – less than the size of a sheet of A4 paper for each bird.

In Britain, the British Hen Welfare Trust has re-homed thosuands of hens across the country over the past five years in preparation for the directive, the BBC reports.

However, many European countries are not yet ready for the change. The London Independent notes that Spain, France and Poland have all said that they won’t be ready to get rid of battery cages by the deadline – despite having had 13 years to prepare for the change.

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