The British egg industry has taken the first step in issuing judicial review proceedings against the UK government for its refusal to ban imports of illegally produced eggs.

Last Sunday (1 January), EU legislation banning the production of ‘battery eggs’ came into force. The UK is compliant with the law, but 13 other EU countries - producing an estimated 40 million eggs a day - have failed to fully comply.

The UK government has committed to checks on shell egg imports, but does not intend to check liquid egg products or products containing eggs.

The British Egg Industry Council has asked Defra to review the decision to restrict checks to shell eggs and has sent a pre-action protocol letter to Defra.

British egg producers had invested heavily to meet their legal obligations and to improve animal welfare, said BEIC chairman Andrew Parker.