The Czech Republic bans cages for female chickens from 2027

Chickens, photo: Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
Chickens, photo: Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

The lower house of the Parliament of the Czech Republic agreed on Wednesday to ban cages for laying hens from 2027. “Today’s victory finally gives these hens a chance for a better life,” Romana Šonková from the animal welfare organization Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) said.

“Although we would like cages to be banned immediately, we are very pleased that the end of the cage age is in sight. Hens are not egg machines. They are sentient beings. They are capable of suffering, but also of enjoying life,” she added.

Around 4.5 million hens are raised in cages each year in Czechia. Hens have very little space, equal to an A4 paper, in so-called ‘enriched’ cages. Enriched makes it sound better, but the cages are extremely cruel as the animals don’t have enough space for their natural behavior, such as wing-flapping.

Luxembourg, Austria and Germany have laws in place already to ban cages. With the Czech Republic banning cages, CIWF hopes the EU will join soon too.

“This is an important step towards a Europe-wide ban on cage farming,” Olga Kikou, head of Compassion in World Farming EU, said. “We are all delighted that today’s success brings us closer to our goal and may inspire other EU Member States to take a similar step.”

Every year, over 300 million pigs, hens, rabbits, ducks quail and calves are imprisoned in cages across the EU. The End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative recently collected over one million signatures from EU citizens, who called for an end to this cruelty.

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