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Bulgarian Poultry Farms Meet Eurepean Commission’s Welfare Standards

FOUR PAWS welcomes this step and demands labeling on hidden eggs

Bulgaria’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Miroslav Naydenov, has announced on the occasion of his visit to the town of Veliko Tarnovo last Monday that the country has fulfilled all requirements of the European Commission regarding laying hen welfare.

He stated that Bulgaria had managed to meet the end-June deadline set by the European Commission and would not face sanctions. „Staring Monday, all poultry farms in Bulgaria are raising happy hens and we met the deadline we were given earlier“, said the Agriculture Minister.

Bulgaria complies with the ban on conventional battery cages with five months delay. Nevertheless the animal welware organization FOUR PAWS welcomes this late but necessary step. „Phasing out illegal cages is a slow process, but it is good to observe the progress“, emphasizes Gabriel Paun, director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. “In the coming weeks FOUR PAWS will check the accuracy of the Minister’s commitment.“


Since 1st of January 2012 conventional battery cages for laying hens have been banned in all EU member states. Only so-called „enriched cages“ are allowed in all EU member states.
However, according to research conducted by FOUR PAWS, farms in 12 member states were still using illegal battery cages at that time and did not comply with the EU Directive on minimum standards for the protection of laying hens. On January 26th the European Commission began infringement proceedings against the non complying member states.

With Bulgaria complying now, there are still nine member states using illegal battery cages: Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Netherland. Many illegal cage eggs are hidden in processed food like pasta, mayonnaise, sweets and egg liqueur. „The EU laying hens directive must be enforced immediately and the labeling system should be extended to also cover eggs that are hidden in processed food“, states Gabriel Paun.