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  Battery hens 'to be banned'
Updated 25 June 2002, 13.49
Keeping battery hens could be banned
Battery hens could be completely banned in the UK, if people speak up for chickens' rights.

The government is asking the public whether they think the cages are cruel. If we say yes, they might get rid of them one day.

  Should battery hens be banned? Send us your comments

Farmers can't use old battery cages from 2012, or build new ones from 2003.

But they can still use 'enriched' battery cages, which have more room for the hens, a nest box, perch and litter.

Cheaper

Fact File
Battery hens
24 million hens are kept in battery cages in the UK
72 % of eggs in the UK are produced this way
Some supermarkets, like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, have banned battery eggs
'Beak-trimming', which stops hens plucking themselves, may also be banned

Some countries like Germany have decided to ban these better cages too, because they still think they're cruel and cramped.

Animal groups like the RSPCA think all these cages are cruel, but egg industry bosses say banning them won't do any good.

They say the UK will be forced to buy cheaper battery hen eggs from other countries instead.

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Comments
Should we ban battery cages for hens?
opening quoteIt should be banned. You should treat animals with respect, the same way you treat humans.closing quote
Tamsin, 12, Bristol
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