Denmark bids farewell to cage egg production

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Denmark bids farewell to cage egg production

29 September 2022
Dyrenes Beskyttelse
News

The Danish Minister for Food, Rasmus Prehn, has decided to ban the production of cage eggs in Denmark, beginning in 2023.

The final goodbye to Danish cage eggs is applauded by Animal Protection Denmark. It is a victory for activist consumers, the retail sector, and Animal Protection Denmark – and millions of caged hens.

We are thrilled to finally see an end date for the production of cage eggs in Denmark – and an end to the horrific living conditions of the hens laying the eggs. It raises the bar for basic animal welfare in the Danish poultry sector.
Britta Riis, CEO of Animal Protection Denmark
The ban will be introduced with a transition period of 12 years for the remaining 7 farmers still producing cage eggs. Animal Protection Denmark would have liked the transition to have been faster but acknowledges that major changes in food production can take time.
It has been almost 10 years since we ramped up our campaigning against cage eggs. Many consumers joined us in turning their backs on cage eggs, and retailers took them off their shelves. In the end, these movements led to the final goodbye to cage egg production, and we owe the Danish people and the Danish retail sector a debt of gratitude for leading this change.
CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

The ban on cage eggs comes after the political party Enhedslisten put forward a motion in 2020 to phase out the last remaining producers of egg-laying cage hens by the end of 2022. The Government did not support the motion on the grounds that the suggested phase-out period was too short, but the Minister for Food acknowledged the horrendous living conditions of caged egg-laying hens and supported the general move towards a ban. And the politicians are aligned with public sentiment: Three out of four Danes think that cage eggs should be banned according to a new survey conducted by Epinion on behalf of Animal Protection Denmark.

Even though Danish consumers and retailers have turned their backs on cage eggs, 7 Danish farmers still have around 550.000 hens sitting in cages around the country. A lot of Danes are unknowingly served caged eggs in food served in cantinas, kindergartens, and ready meals, and some of Denmark’s biggest municipalities continue to buy vast quantities of cage eggs. This use of eggs is not labelled, making it impossible for consumers to opt out. Animal Protection Denmark urges everyone to support the Danish people’s clear opposition to cage eggs.

During the 12-year phase-out an estimated 6 million hens may have to endure life in a cage. This should not happen. The Danish people should not be fed this many hidden cage eggs, and to this end, private and public buyers must step up and take responsibility.
CEO of Animal Protection Denmark
Several of Denmark's neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have already imposed bans on keeping caged hens. While the animal welfare bar in Denmark is raised by the ban, there is still a long way to go until all farmed animals get to live good lives in accordance with their needs, Animal Protection Denmark points out.