Consultation on a proposal to phase out the use of cages in Scotland’s laying hen sector

Closes 25 Jun 2024

Opened 2 Apr 2024


The Scottish Government is committed to improving the welfare of laying hens by addressing the issue of confinement, so that birds have the freedoms to exhibit their normal behaviours. 

The 2021 and 2023 Programmes for Government made several animal welfare commitments, including to consult stakeholders on phasing out the use of cages for laying hens and gamebirds.

This drive to ban cages reflects a demand from society to move to more ethical production systems.  The Scottish Government has heard these calls and wants to bring welfare standards in line with wider public values, as well as remaining aligned with likely developments across the EU.

The proposal on which we seek your views is to ban enriched cage production entirely, including the few (barren) battery cages which remain in use for laying hen units with fewer than 350 birds, pullets and breeder layers.  The policy proposal aims to improve animal welfare standards in a way which is also sustainable and economically viable for the Scottish egg industry.

Although gamebirds are not included within this consultation a call for evidence regarding the use of cages in the Scottish gamebird and quail sectors will be published in the coming months.

Please read the full consultation document.

The consultation paper contains full background information for this consultation. You may find it useful to read or refer to while responding.

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to 'Save and come back later' at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don't use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the 'About You' page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published abide by our Terms of Use.

A analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).


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