Defra Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has received backing from fellow EU Ministers for her calls to prevent a delay in implementing the battery cage ban. It followed an attempt by some EU states to delay the ban beyond its scheduled start date of 2012 to give their farmers more time to comply.
Mrs Spelman launched an attack on the proposed delay during a meeting of Agriculture Ministers in Brussels. Several other countries, including Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands, backed her calls to ensure the ban was implemented on time.
"To delay implementing this ban would be enormously unfair to all the poulty keepers in the UK and other countries around Europe who have worked so hard to stop using battery cages," said Mrs Spelman.
"The UK industry has worked hard and made significant investments to convert out of battery cages ahead of the European deadline - so it wouldn't be fair to them to have to compete with eggs from other European countries that haven't converted."
The UK has consistently called for the ban to be implemented in 2012 with strict enforcement by the EU and now Copa-Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Personen has warned of the risk of imported eggs flooding onto the EU market which do not meet the EU rules.