The British Egg Information Council has urged legislators to delay imposing the ban on beak trimming beyond the proposed initiation date of January 1, 2011. Compassion in World Farming is actively lobbying the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the UK government (analogous to the USDA) to not to extend the deadline claiming research studies which show both infra-red and hot blade trimming can cause pain.

In turn, DEFRA, supported by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, claims that welfare benefits from the action would be offset by an increase in pecking and cannibalism, especially as confinement of hens in small-group cages will be phased out in 2012.


According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, quoting the UK Farmers Weekly, the chief executive of the EIC Mark Williams commented, “In our view, it will not bring welfare benefits to laying hens – indeed, it could have quite the contrary effect.”