JANUARY 2008: Major stores have started clearing their shelves of eggs from caged birds four years before the introduction of a new EU law to stop birds being kept in tiny cages.

Sainsbury’s, the Co-op and Morrisons have all agreedto ban eggs from caged birds while Marks & Spencer and Waitrosealready sell only free-range eggs.All products containing egg will also use free-range varieties.Thechains will phase out battery hen eggs over the next two years, beforean EU ban on battery cages due to come into effect in 2012.

Asda and Tesco have not yet followed suit, but have cut back shelf space given to battery hen eggs.

InBritain, “enriched cages”, which are larger and have a perch, nest andlitter, will still be legal but Germany will also ban these cages.

The move comes as the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launches a campaign to persuade consumers to demand better welfare for hens.

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