Photo via Flickr user AgriculturaspOn the first day of 2012, a law that was finalized in 1999 in the European Union finally went into effect, banning the use of battery cages for egg-laying hens. While some farmers have moved to cage-free systems in response to the new rule, most have switched to "enriched" cages that allow hens more room with nests and perches.
Both options are an improvement from the industry-norm battery cages – cramped cages that don’t let the hens do a lot of their natural activities (like turning around easily). Despite having 12 years to get used to the idea, some countries have slacked on enforcing the change. The European Commission, according to Food Safety News, "has announced plans to take legal action against the 13 countries not enforcing the rule." Germany, on the other hand, banned the practice back in 2007.