News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for April 8th, 2012

Europe and the Easter Egg Crisis

While Americans have been able to enjoy the tradition of dyeing and decorating eggs during the holiday weekend without difficulty, this beloved tradition is currently in jeopardy across the sea in Europe. Since January 1st, egg production in Europe has dropped 10 to 15 percent and eggs have become increasingly more expensive and difficult for European consumers to find. This drop in production is due to the inability or refusal of egg producers to comply with EU legislation that has been in the works for over a dozen years. The European Union passed legislation in the year 1999 requiring that the living conditions of egg-laying hens were improved by providing these animals with larger cages and more opportunities for stimuli. January 1st of this year was the deadline for all egg industries to bring their facilities up to the expected standards. Unfortunately many of these companies have not made the necessary efforts over the past few years to improve the living conditions of their chickens.  According to an article by Raf Casert, approximately 46 million hens are still being kept in illegal battery cages. This lack of compliance has resulted in a European Easter egg crisis.

The Czech Republic is one country that seems to have been especially affected by the egg shortage and rise in prices. An article by Kate Conolly of The Guardian reports that many Czechs have had to resort to driving over to Germany to retrieve these culturally important goods and others simply celebrating without eggs.

While the disruption of Easter traditions in Europe is newsworthy, even more significant and relevant for all readers is the continuation of animal cruelty that is causing the shortage of eggs. Legal specifics on the EU act for the protection of laying hens can be found here.