In a landmark ruling, the European Commission has made a historic commitment to phase out cages in animal farming throughout the EU. Cages for hens, mother pigs, calves, rabbits, ducks, geese, and other farmed animals will be phased out by 2027 at the latest.
“It feels like one of these moments in history when the tide is turning”
Driven by the ‘End the Cage Age’ European Citizens’ Initiative supported by the Compassion in World Farming group, over 1.4 million citizens across all EU member states signed the petition, applying insurmountable pressure for change. This is the first successful initiative providing a voice for the 300 million farmed animals in the EU spending their lives in cages, pens, or stalls that make it hard or impossible for them to perform basic natural behaviors, or even turn around.
The announcement was made at a press conference by EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides together with Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová, The Commission will evaluate the details for how the ban will roll out by the end of next year, with the aim to revise the relevant legislation by the end of 2023. Compassion in World Farming patron Dr. Jane Goodall was involved in the campaign and has recently called on the European Commission to reform its EU farm products promotion policy, in order to provide fair support and incentives for plant-based diets.
“The long-awaited day has finally come! Today, the European Commission made a big step to leave a legacy for animals – those locked in cages as innocent prisoners who have committed no crime. Citizens demanded change and the Commission heard the message loud and clear, making an unequivocal and visionary commitment to phase out cages. It feels like one of these moments in history when the tide is turning.
“The animal advocacy movement succeeded in rattling the cage and planting the seeds of a new era. From today on, a new journey begins. 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,” commented Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU and one of the citizens leading the ‘End the Cage Age’ European Citizens’ Initiative.