Last 25 September marked the official launch of the European Citizens’ Initiative “End the Cage Age” in the European Parliament, an a historical moment for the more than 100 animal welfare and environmental organisations joining this opportunity to put and end to the cage age. It is the first time that such great number of European organisations join forces to improve the conditions of farm animals.
Hundreds of millions of farm animals are kept in cages for most of their lives throughout Europe and endure great suffering. Cages keep animals isolated, or tightly packed in confined areas, provide minimal space and prevent even moderate exercise. Being kept in these conditions, even with excellent stockmanship, can have severe health and welfare implications for the animals involved.
This Europe-wide petition, which was initiated by Compassion In World Farming in partnership with Eurogroup for Animals and the support of +130 NGOs, will run for one year, with the ambitious goal to end the use of cages across the continent. During this period, a minimum of one million verified signatures must be collected from EU citizens. More precisely, if 1 Million signatures will be gathered on time (September 2019), the European Commission will then be invited to propose legislation to ban the use of:
• cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese;
• farrowing crates for sows;
• sow stalls, where not already prohibited;
• individual calf pens, where not already prohibited.
The EU Launch event of the European Citizens’ Initiative “End the Cage Age” witnessed one of the most well attended event by MEPs related to animal welfare. The day started with a breakfast, followed by the launch event during which several MEPs, the members of the ECI Citizens’ Committee and representatives of animal welfare organisations gave some very motivating speeches whose video can be watched here. The debate was followed by the opening of an exhibition aimed at showing the European Parliament the cruel reality behind factory farm cages in Europe.
It was an important day marking the beginning of a journey that should lead to a ban on the use of cages for farm animals everywhere in the European Union. Following the event, national launches of the ECI will take place during the week of 8 October and a dedicated meeting of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals will take place on Thursday 4 October.
Sign the petition to End The Cage Age
Elise Fleury, Campaign Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org