Council Directive 1999/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens

Original version:<a href='/vid/council-directive-1999-74-843260404'>Council Directive 1999/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens</a>
Consolidated TEXT: 31999L0074 — EN — 14.12.2019

01999L0074 — EN — 14.12.2019 — 003.001

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of 19 July 1999

laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens

(OJ L 203 3.8.1999, p. 53)

Amended by:

Official Journal





COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 806/2003 of 14 April 2003

L 122




COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2013/64/EU of 17 December 2013

L 353





L 95





of 19 July 1999

laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens

Article l

1. This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens.

2. This Directive shall not apply to:

establishments with fewer than 350 laying hens,

establishments rearing breeding laying hens.

Such establishments shall, however, continue to be subject to the relevant requirements of Directive 98/58/EC.

Article 2

1. The definitions in Article 2 of Directive 98/58/EC shall apply where necessary.

2. In addition, the following definitions shall apply for the purpose of this Directive:

(a) ‘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;

(b) ‘nest’ means: a separate space for egg laying, the floor components of which may not include wire mesh that can come into contact with the birds, for an individual hen or for a group of hens (group nest);

(c) ‘litter’ means: any friable material enabling the hens to satisfy their ethological needs;

(d) ‘usable area’ means: an area at least 30 cm wide with a floor slope not exceeding 14 %, with headroom of at least 45 cm. Nesting areas shall not be regarded as usable areas.

Article 3

According to the system or systems adopted by the Member States, they shall ensure 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.


Provisions applicable to alternative systems

Article 4

1. Member States shall ensure that from 1 January 2002 all newly built or rebuilt systems of production referred to in this chapter and all such systems of production brought into use for the first time comply at least with the requirements below.

1. All systems must be equipped in such a way that all laying hens have:

(a) either linear feeders providing at least 10 cm per bird or circular feeders providing at least 4 cm per bird;

(b) either continuous drinking troughs providing 2,5 cm per hen or circular drinking troughs providing 1 cm per hen.

In addition, where nipple drinkers or cups are used, there shall be at least one nipple drinker or cup for every 10 hens. Where drinking points are plumbed in, at least two cups or two nipple drinkers shall be within reach of each hen;

(c) at least one nest for every seven hens. If group nests are used, there must be at least 1 m2 of nest space for a maximum of 120 hens;

(d) adequate perches, without sharp edges and providing at least 15 cm per hen. Perches must not be mounted above the litter and the horizontal distance between perches must be at least 30 cm and the horizontal distance between the perch and the wall must be at least 20 cm;

(e) at least 250 cm2 of littered area per hen, the litter occupying at least one third of the ground surface.

2. The floors of installations must be constructed so as to support adequately each of the forward-facing claws of each foot.

3. In addition to the provisions laid down in points 1 and 2,

(a) if systems of rearing are used where the laying hens can move freely between different levels,

(i) there shall be no more than four levels;

(ii) the headroom between the levels must be at least 45 cm;

(iii) the drinking and feeding facilities must be distributed in such a way as to provide equal access for all hens;

(iv) the levels must be so arranged as to prevent droppings falling on the levels below.

(b) If laying hens have access to open runs:

(i) there must be several popholes giving direct access to the outer area, at least 35 cm high and 40 cm wide and extending along the entire length of the building; in any case, a total opening of 2 m must be available per group of 1 000 hens;

(ii) open runs must be:

of an area appropriate to the stocking density and to the nature of the ground, in order to prevent any contamination;

equipped with shelter from inclement weather and predators and, if necessary, appropriate drinking troughs.

4. The stocking density must not exceed nine laying hens per m2 usable area.

However, where the usable area corresponds to the available ground surface, Member States may, until 31 December 2011, authorise a stocking density of 12 hens per m2 of available area for those establishments applying this system on 3 August 1999.

2. Member States shall ensure that the minimum requirements laid down in paragraph 1 apply to all alternative systems from 1 January 2007.


Provisions applicable to rearing in unenriched cage systems

Article 5

1. Member States shall ensure that from 1 January 2003 all cage systems referred to in this chapter comply at least with the...

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