The European Commission has committed to introducing legislation that phases out and then bans the use of cages for farmed animals such as hens, pigs, calves, rabbits, ducks, and geese. Commissioners have promised a draft law by the end of 2023 and that cages will be prohibited by 2027.
The move follows a three-year campaign by Compassion in World Farming. Its End the Cage Age initiative is backed by more than 170 organizations and 1.4 million people across Europe.
An undercover Compassion investigation of four farms found that every year more than eight million sows in Europe spend almost half their lives in cages. They are artificially inseminated in the cage and give birth there too. They cannot move, suffer injury, and cannot help their weaker piglets, which often die as a result.
They are just a few of the 300 million farmed animals kept in cages on the continent.
A study by the European Commission itself back in 2016 found that “citizens attach a great importance to animal welfare”, “believe that it is important to establish international welfare standards” and “declare to be ready to pay more for animal welfare friendly products.”