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Parliamentary questions
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1 April 2014
Question for written answer E-004032-14
to the Commission
Rule 117
Britta Reimers (ALDE)

 Subject:  Rules on open-air runs for laying hens under Regulation (EC) No 589/2008
 Answer in writing 

Annex II, point 1(a), of Regulation (EC) No 589/2008 calls for egg producers to allow their laying hens continuous daytime access to open-air runs. However, if this is consistent with good animal husbandry and farming practice, access may be restricted to a limited period in the morning.

In practice, the authorities interpret these provisions to mean that hens should have access to an open-air run for the rest of the day, regardless of the weather.

Bad weather adversely affects hens’ health because, for example, they can swallow dirty water from puddles.

Under the rules laid down in Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production, access to open-air areas is allowed — no matter what the time of day — whenever weather conditions so permit.

1. Why, in point 1(a) of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 589/2008, did the Commission choose to make ‘the morning hours’ the relevant time, excluding every other time of day?

2. Why should point 1(a) of Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 589/2008 not be worded according to the same criteria as Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 834/2007?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 367, 16/10/2014
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