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Working to help laying hens

We're working in many different ways to improve the welfare of laying hens at all stages of their lives. Here are some of the things we're doing.

four hens standing on a farm wall © RSPCA

Pushing for stronger laws to protect laying hens

We take every opportunity to stress the need to ban all cages and highlight the advantages of keeping hens in well-managed, higher welfare systems such as barn and free-range.

Campaigning work

We've been campaigning for many years to have eggs from caged hens clearly labelled to allow consumers to make an informed choice about which production system they support when they buy eggs.

Since 2004, the law has required all eggs and egg boxes to be labelled according to the method of production - either eggs from caged hens, barn, free-range or organic. We urge retailers to make sure that their labelling is clear, and that all products containing eggs as ingredients are also labelled as eggs from free-range, barn, organic or caged hens.

Developing RSPCA welfare standards

We develop detailed welfare standards for laying hens and young chickens, which contain requirements to ensure that higher standards of animal welfare are met at all stages of the hens' lives. The standards don't allow hens to be kept in cages, and are much more detailed and strict than minimum legal requirements.

The vast majority of free-range and barn eggs in the UK come from hens inspected to these standards through the RSPCA Assured scheme.

Using scientific research to improve laying hen welfare

Scientific evidence is very important when we're trying to find practical solutions to laying hen welfare problems, which are sometimes very complex.

If you're concerned about laying hen welfare, find out how you can help.   

Find out more