Recent reports suggest up to a third of EU hens will still be in cages at the Jan. 1, 2012, deadline for transition to colony housing or floor systems.

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Providing non-compliant producers with an extension could be considered unfair to those who have made investments and would possibly operate at a financial disadvantage. Banning the sale of cage-derived eggs would represent hardship for consumers who would be obliged to pay more for eggs due to reduced supply. Even if eggs were imported to supply demand, in all probability, product would be derived from caged-housed hens, which would be inconsistent with the intended improvement in welfare.