Israel bans holding chickens in cages beginning in 2037. Israel is one of the first 18 countries in the world to ban the use of cages for laying hens.
The 2022 Animal Welfare Regulations (The rearing and keeping of laying hens) were approved by the Knesset’s Education Committee.
The regulations adopt for the first time modern Western standards and represent the initial phase of an industry-wide change. The new rules include, among other things, a prohibition on cage coops, a specification of minimum living area for egg-laying hens, technologically sophisticated criteria, and a restriction on forced molting.
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Forced molting is the practice among chicken farmers of forcibly inducing a flock to molt simultaneously, generally by withholding food and occasionally water for a prolonged period during the natural decline of egg production at the end of the first egg-laying phase.
Around 93% of laying hen coops in Israel have cages of various types. The extended transition period is meant to let individuals in the egg-laying sector prepare for the required modifications.
From now on, every new coop must be constructed without cages (a non-cage arrangement), and it will be illegal to keep laying hens in cages beginning in 2037.
During the transitional phase, the minimum dwelling area for hens in existing coops will range between 600 and 750 cm (a transition period is also set for coops of 350 cm).
The European Commission said a year ago that it planned to introduce legislation to ban all types of livestock caging next year, including calf pens and farrowing crates for pregnant and nursing sows and cages for ducks and rabbits.