European Commission to vote on the end of farm animals in cages

Pig in a cage, pig free with babies, photo: Compassion in World Farming
Pig in a cage, pig free with babies, photo: Compassion in World Farming

Political parties for animal rights and the environment in the EU urge the European Parliament to vote for an EU-wide ban on the use of cages in animal farming.

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on if, when and how they’ll end the cruel practice of caged farming. Over 342 million animals are currently kept in cages in the farm industry in Europe. 

Pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, geese, quails, and cows spend their entire life without any freedom of movement or any possibility to satisfy their natural needs. 

Life of torment
“The life of these animals is one big torment,” says Anja Hazekamp, Member of Parliament (MEP) for the Dutch Party for the Animals. “Experts and scientists have long agreed that using cages is cruel, outdated and unnecessary.”

According to a report by Compassion in World Farming, Spain is the country with the most caged animals, almost 87 million animals, closely followed by France with 84 million animals in cages. 

Italy has almost 44 million caged animals, Portugal 12 million, and the Netherland keeps almost six million animals stuck in cages.

European Citizens Initiative
After the successful European Citizens Initiative to End the Cage Age, signed by 1.4 million people, an official hearing was held on the issue in the European Parliament in April.

During the hearing, most MEPs agreed that a transition to cage-free farming is possible, but only if farmers get financial support, time to make changes and if there’s a ban on imports from non-EU countries that don’t meet the same EU animal welfare standards.

“It is up to the European Commission to show that it takes the citizens’ initiative seriously as a democratic instrument,” Anja Hazekamp stressed in her contribution to this hearing.

In a video shared on Monday, the leader of the parties call upon European citizens to make themselves heard to help End the Cage Age ‘now, and for good!’.

The political parties ask citizens to send a letter to the Member of Parliament from their country: “Send your MEP a polite email or message through social media before the 10th of June to let them know it really is high time to put an end to the use of cages in animal farming!”

Political animal rights movement
The Dutch Party for the Animals was the first animal rights party in the world to be elected to the national parliament in 2006. 

The party has inspired an international movement for animals, nature, and the environment. There are now 20 political parties, such as the Party for the Animals worldwide, including 13 within the EU. 

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