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Council Directive 1999/74/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens.

Type of law

The object of this Directive is to establish minimum standards for the protection of laying hens. This Directive shall not apply neither to establishments with fewer than 350 laying hens, nor to establishments rearing breeding laying hens. Nevertheless, such establishments shall continue to be subject to the relevant requirements of Directive 98/58/EC. Article 2 sets forth definitions with a view to defining the application scope of the present provisions. In particular, for the purposes of this Directive laying hens" means hens of the species Gallus gallus which have reached laying maturity and are kept for production of eggs not intended for hatching. Member States must guarantee that the owners and holders of laying hens apply not only the relevant provisions of Directive 98/58/EC and of the Annex to this Directive but also the requirements specific to each of the systems referred to below, namely: (a) either the provisions laid down in Chapter I as regards alternative systems; (b) or the provisions laid down in Chapter II as regards unenriched cage systems; (c) or the provisions of Chapter III concerning enriched cages. The provisions contained in the aforesaid Chapters aim at protecting laying hens, particularly in respect of equipment, drinking and feeding conditions and facilities, areas where hens are kept. Article 9 refers to checks to be carried out by experts from the Commission to verify the compliance with this Directive.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
The Directive entered into force on 3 August 1999.
Serial Imprint
Official Journal L 203, 3 August 1999, pp. 53 57.
Source language


Legislation Amendment
Implemented by