ANIMAL rights protesters picketed outside Tesco, in Southbury Road, recently calling on the supermarket chain to stop selling eggs from battery caged hens.

It was one of a number of peaceful protests up and down the country which were organised by Compassion in World Farming.

Gill Sanders, head of campaigns for Compassion in World Farming, said: "Despite the scientific evidence that the battery caged system is cruel and increased public support for free-range farming, Tesco, being the largest UK supermarket, continues to make no commitment to stop selling battery eggs."

Battery cages confine laying hens in small wire cages. Under EU law, each bird has an isolated floor space of less than a sheet of A4 paper.

Campaigners argue these conditions can cause lifelong psychological and physical suffering, leaving hens unable to exercise or to carry out many important natural behaviours.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "We are actively working to increase the amount of organic and free range eggs that we sell.

"We will continue to offer a range of eggs to our customers which are clearly labelled so that shoppers can make a choice.

"All suppliers of fresh foods to Tesco must be able to demonstrate that they meet strict and independently audited welfare and production standards."