A chicken - being described as "Britain's last battery hen" - is to be given a new home in Devon later.

The hen, named Liberty, is being re-housed in time for the EU-wide ban on small, cramped cages.

From 1 January, cages will have to provide enough space for birds to spread their wings, perch and be able to move around.

But the British Hen Welfare Trust said not all EU countries would adhere to the ban.


The British Hen Welfare Trust said the new cages can hold up to 90 birds, which will have space to spread their wings, perch and be able to go from one end of the cage to the other. The cage will now have to provide 750 square centimetres of space for each bird.

Old-style cages only had 550 square centimetres of space for each bird - which is less than a sheet of A4 paper.

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said: "It is unacceptable that after the ban on battery cages comes into effect, millions of hens across Europe will still remain in poor conditions.

"We have all had plenty of time to make these changes, but 13 EU nations have not done so. The UK egg industry alone has spent £400million ensuring hens live in better conditions.

"It would be unthinkable if countries continuing to house hens in poor conditions were to profit from flouting the law."

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-16353066

I always bought free range eggs anyway. But this is still nice.
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No more battery hens? What are they gonna do? Hook em up to generators?
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I find it difficult to care about animals.
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its good although i doubt an extra 200 square centimetres will help them much
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its good although i doubt an extra 200 square centimetres will help them much

They get stressed if they can't open up their wings. It's barely any extra space, but it's more relieving for them.
Poor chooks.
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It's about time!

implying that you were urgently awaiting the additional 200 sq. centimeters of cage space for hens?
Meh. I'm more of a cock guy.
It's not like the chickens are going to have a lot more space and a better life, but hey, at least I can eat KFC and eggs without having to feel extremely bad!
excuse me, but i don't know what a battery hen is. could someone tell me?
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Will any other changes be made to the way poultry are raised, or is this it?

I'm glad though. Even though it isn't the ideal life for a chicken I'm sure it will make a huge difference to their health.
Yay, I only ever buy free-range eggs but this is good! Battery hens make me so sad, poor things.
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excuse me, but i don't know what a battery hen is. could someone tell me?

Battery farming is basically running a farm like a factory, prioritising produce over the conditions for the livestock. It's targeted quite a lot.
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I find it difficult to care about animals.

Kinda sucks that you are one then, doesn't it?
So it's less "no more battery hens" and more "bigger batteries for hens".
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im glad this went through. i hope they impose tighter regulations on halal slaughter next

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They're still being caged and they're still being killed.

Not good enough in my opinion.
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Having worked in a poultry farm in the past i applaud the decision to finally ban it. However, i think that the issue of some EU countries continuing battery farming will be influential in where supermarkets purchase eggs for sale.

A typical day at where i worked, we were able to produce 12 pallets of battery eggs per barn, whereas, we were only able to produce 3 pallets of free range eggs per barn. Thankfully the company has closed, in accordance with the law, but also due to the fact they would be unable to invest in new machinery (which we needed) if they refitted barns.

The sad thing is Britain hasn't looked after the agricultural business, like with milk farmers, who get paid in pence per liter of milk, we shall soon have supermarkets buying bulk numbers of battery eggs from EU countries not following the law.
Even if you don't care about animals, anything that isn't free-range is usually awful. I can't see how anyone buys anything else.
So now they'll be using wind up hens instead?
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battery is here to stay
No more chicken batteries ?

How are we gonna fire our eggs then ? Lob them like grenades over the Atlantik Banana Wall ? Surely the Prumes will easily be able to avoid our precious ammunition that way.