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Thursday, January 28, 1999 Published at 17:04 GMT


World: Europe

European parliament votes to ban battery hen farming


The European parliament has voted in favour of phasing out the system of battery hen farming throughout Europe -- but not until the year 2009.

Animal welfare campaigners have complained for many years that the system causes unnecessary cruelty to the birds.

A spokesman for the group, Compassion in World Farming, described it as a tremendous day for animal welfare.

However, European farmers say that if the ban goes through it will expose them to cheap imports from the United States.

A final decision still has to be taken by European agriculture ministers.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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