Packers and supermarkets on both sides of the Irish Sea are flouting labelling regulations on battery eggs.

According to animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming, most of the eggs on sale in the UK and the Irish Republic carry misleading labels. New EU legislation requires all eggs from battery hens be clearly marked as “eggs from caged hens”.

CWIF spokeswoman Mary-Anne Bartlett claimed that incorrect terms such as ‘farm fresh’ and ‘country fresh’ were being used by packers and supermarkets.

The Irish Department of Agriculture said a new labelling format had been agreed with the packers and would be implemented in the near future.

A spokesman said the situation had arisen because old stocks of egg packs were being used up.

But Bartlett said: “The argument about using up old stocks is not valid. This law has been in place since January, some eight months ago.”