EU Parliament votes in favour of ban on cages in animal farming

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

The European Parliament listened to its citizens and on Thursday voted to ban the use of cages in animal farming across the European Union by 2027.

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.

On Thursday, 558 Members of Parliament (MEPs) voted for an EU-wide ban on the use of cages in animal farming, 37 against and 85 abstentions. This means that the use of cages in farming could be phased out by 2027.

Alternatives to cage farming exist and are being successfully implemented in a number of member states, MEPs said in a press release. These alternative systems should be further improved and implemented in every EU country.

MEPs stressed that they want support for farmers in their transition phase. They added that all animal products imported into the EU must be produced with the same animal welfare standards, including the use of cage-free farming systems.


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. 

“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 “Experts and scientists have long agreed that using cages is cruel, outdated and unnecessary.”

Foie gras
Force-feeding ducks and geese for foie gras will also be banned. “The European Parliament adopted our proposal to ban the cruel and unnecessary force-feeding of ducks and geese for the production of foie gras!” Anja Hazekamp cheered on Twitter.


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