European Commission has reached an agreement – is that the end of the cage age?
A citizens’ initiative called “End the Cage Age” has gathered over 1,500,000 signatures across Europe and on June 30th it was supported by the European Commission. The EC has committed to completely phase out cages in animal breeding across the European Union for chickens, dams of pigs, calves, rabbits, ducks and other farm animals by 2027. This is the end of the great suffering of animals crammed into cages, longed for by many of us. We will know the details of the ban by the end of 2023 but it is already a historic moment and a great step for the European Commission.
How is it now? In our country, almost 43 million animals are kept in cages and pens. That is more than human population in Poland. In the entire European Union, it is as much as 300 million animals experiencing unimaginable suffering, both physical and mental. Millions of seconds of fear and pain. It is a daily struggle for survival. Animals locked in tight cages cannot express their natural behavior and exist without a chance to meet their basic needs. Cages separate animals from each other, making contact difficult. When crowded, they display aggressive behavior and hurt each other. Caged breeding brings millions of lives, millions of sentient beings, into painful vegetation and death on the production line. It has to stop and we are glad that the fate of caged animals is getting more and more publicity. Eventually, the cage age will go down in history. The European Commission has planned to assess the details of the introduction of this ban by the end of 2022, and its next goal will be to verify the relevant legislation by 2023.
Stella Kyriakides, the commissioner for Health and Food Safety, commented on the European Commission’s decision to phase out cages in animal breeding: “Animals are sentient beings and as a society we have a moral responsibility that farm conditions reflect this fact. I am determined to ensure that the EU continues to play a leading role in animal welfare on the world stage and that it meets society’s expectations. “
In addition to the ban of cage farming in the EU, the European Commission will also deal with the import of caged bred animal products from outside of the European Union. The initiative was accepted by the vast majority of members of the European Parliament. EU parliamentarians agreed that the time has finally come to end these cruel practices. It is a decision that will revolutionize Polish and European agriculture and, hopefully, will end the cage era once and for all.
Sadly, according to reports, the ban on cage farming will not include animals bred for fur. This matter will still be up to individual countries to decide. Although we are very pleased with the European Commission support for millions of hens, rabbits, pigs, quails, ducks and geese, we still look with concern at the fate of fur bred animals. We hope that this turning point happening before our eyes will also affect millions of minks, foxes and chinchillas being killed for their fur every year. We believe that the European Commission will not be indifferent to their fate and we hope that it will make a favorable decision in this matter as well.