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EU announces historic cage ban

News Section Icon Published 6/30/2021

Pig

We wholeheartedly welcomed the EU’s historic decision, announced today (30th June), to phase out cages in animal farming across the continent by 2027.

An end to cruel cages

The Commission plans to prohibit cages for over 300 million hens, mother pigs, calves, rabbits, ducks, geese and other farmed animals every year, looking at a phase-out by 2027. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová made the statement at a press conference covering the Commission’s response to the End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which received overwhelming support with over 1.4 million signatures from EU citizens.

The Commission announced that it will put forward a legislative proposal by the end of 2023 to phase out and ban the use of cages for farmed animals. That proposal will need the approval of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

The tide is turning

The long-awaited day has finally come! Today, the European Commission made a historic decision to leave a legacy for farmed animals. Citizens demanded change and the Commission received the message loud and clear, making an unequivocal and visionary commitment to phase out cages,"  said Olga Kikou, our Head of EU.

“The tide is finally turning. We will stay focused on the European institutions until they deliver on this ambition and will be vigilant in preventing vested interests from watering it down.

“Factory farming is the biggest cause of cruelty to sentient creatures on the planet. Ending the use of cages is a massive step towards ending factory farming.”

UK Government must now follow suit

Today’s announcement, made by the EU Commission, is a massive step forwards and hugely important moment for the hundreds of millions of animals farmed in cages, across the continent, annually,” added James West, our Senior Policy Manager.

“Many years of campaigning to End the Cage Age have culminated in this historic commitment. However, we must not become complacent. It is now crucial that the UK Government follows suit and delivers an end to the use of cages – Britain must not get left trailing behind the EU in improving farm animal welfare”.

History in the making

The End the Cage Age ECI launched on 11th September 2018 and closed exactly a year later, having gained over 1.6 million signatures. Following the required signature validation period, the ECI easily exceeded the required threshold of 1 million signatures, with a total of 1,397,113 validated signatures across Europe. It also outstripped the minimum number of signatures threshold in 18 EU member states, out of the seven required. This makes the End the Cage Age ECI the:

  • 6th ECI to succeed among 75 registered initiatives in the last ten years
  •  3rd with the highest signature count
  •  1st successful ECI on farmed animal welfare

Making history for farmed animals has been a collaborative effort, as we led a coalition of 170 NGOs from across Europe to demand change. However, this ban could not have been achieved without your dedicated, enthusiastic support, from the launch in 2018 to the EU Commission’s historic announcement today. Thank you for standing up for farm animals and making this moment possible!

Fight for a better future for farm animals

The work to end farm animal suffering is only made possible by you. Your donations mean we can keep up the fight to secure a better future for animals, people and the planet.

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