The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is doubling the allowed density of birds from 1,000 per hectare to 2,000, as demand for free-range eggs continues to grow.

With the increased hens come regulations to increase shelter and other provisions needed for the birds’ welfare. This remains a tighter standard than those in the EU.

Demand for free-range eggs has soared, due to public campaigns and celebrities endorsing the product.

If the demand cannot be met, overseas eggs produced under lower welfare standards would potentially be imported.