FAWC’s advice is offered in the context of European legislation that prohibits the use of conventional battery cages for laying hens from 1 January 2012. After this production will only be allowed in enriched cages or non-cage systems.
FAWC considers that all commercial systems of production for laying hens offer some compromise in terms of the hen’s welfare. However, well managed enriched cage systems are able to offer the potential for an acceptable balance between the requirements for the hen’s health and welfare, public health and economic and environmental considerations.
You can read more about the work of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.