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European Parliament Supports End The Cage Age Campaign

17/04/2021 Updated: 11/06/2021

The End The Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative calls on the European Union (EU) to phase out the use of cages on farms. In an important milestone for the campaign, a public hearing and parliamentary debate have now been held, ahead of the official response from the European Commission that is expected in the next few months. 

Animal Equality and over 170 other organisations are supporting the End The Cage Age initiative, which is led by Compassion In World Farming. Working together, in the space of the one year that the European Citizens’ Initiative was open, we gathered a historic 1.6 million signatures calling for a ban on caged farming. The campaign urges the European Commission to eliminate cages for hens, chickens, rabbits, quail, ducks and geese, as well as ban the use of gestation and farrowing crates for mother pigs and end the practice of keeping young calves on dairy farms in individual pens. 

The recent hearing was warmly welcomed by the European Commissioners present. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated: “We are taking steps towards tangible action because, as I have repeatedly stated, animal welfare and health are very high on our agenda.” She added: “We are very aware that we need to do more and we need to strive to do better. And we are absolutely determined to do so. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a timely reminder of this.

Many MEPs also spoke during the following debate in the European Parliament and overall, the initiative received overwhelming public support.

Together with many like-minded MEPs, we have given a voice to the more than 300 million animals that every year, in the EU alone, spend their entire lives, or a significant part, imprisoned in cages. The enormous support received by this European Citizens’ Initiative across Europe cannot be ignored by the European Commission.

Eleonora Evi, MEP and vice-president of the Intergroup for Animal Welfare

On June 10th, the European Parliament will vote on the issue and by July 15th, the EU Commission will have made a decision on whether they will start the legislative process to ban caged farming. MEP Norbert Lins, chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, noted during the hearing that “most of the speakers welcomed this initiative” and concluded that “the ball is now in the hands of the Commission”.

If the EU moves to ban cages for farmed animals it will be a groundbreaking step in the right direction, and it would put the UK Government under substantial pressure to follow suit. 

You can show policymakers that the British public want to see an end to caged farming too. Join the thousands of people who have signed our petition demanding that cruel cages are banned in the UK egg industry!

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