Farm animals will no longer be kept in cages in the EU

‘Historic’ victory: The European Commission announced it would support the EU-wide ban on cage farming.

  • The EU Commission voted to ban cage farming by 2023. 
  • The decision was inspired by an initiative called “End the Cage Age.”
  • Farmers will be able to receive EU subsidies to help them upgrade to the new rules, the Commission assured. 

A campaign requesting farm animals to be freed from their cages that gathered over 1.4 million signatures caught the attention of the European Commission. As a result, they officially committed to introducing a legislative proposal outlawing cages for a number of farmed animals by 2023, Unilad reports.

Stella Kyriakides, an EU health commissioner, confirmed that the ban is part of the EU’s Farm to Fork food policy strategy.

The health commissioner stated:

“Animals are sentient beings and we have a moral, societal responsibility to ensure that on-farm conditions for animals reflect this. Today’s response is a key step towards an ambitious revision of the animal welfare legislation in 2023, a priority since the beginning of my mandate.

Our commitment is clear: the phasing out of cages for farm animals will be part of our actions under the Farm to Fork Strategy and lead to more sustainable farming and food systems.

I am determined to ensure that the EU remains at the forefront of animal welfare on the global stage and that we deliver on societal expectations.”

The EU commission’s decision was inspired by the “End the Cage Age” initiative. 

In 2018, environmentalists launched the European Citizens Initiative “End the Cage Age,” demanding the EU to end the “nightmare” of cage farming. Three years later, they have achieved a “historic” victory.

Olga Kikou, head of the Compassion in World Farming EU, said the decision was a “big step to leave a legacy for animals.” She continued:

“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.”

Furthermore, Pierre Sultana, director of the European policy office at Four Paws, called the announcement a “monumental win for farm animals in the European Union.”

Moreover, Francisco Guerreiro, Portuguese Green MEP, commented that the health commissioner was “on the right side of History.”

The new legislation will include farm animals such as rabbits, ducks, and geese, as well as some types of hens and cows that are already freed from battery farming. 

However, as per Reuters, more than half of laying hens and around 90% of rabbits in the EU are still kept in cages.

The Commission assured that farmers will be able to receive EU subsidies to help them upgrade to new animal farming systems. Officials foresee the transition to a full ban on animal farm caging to continue until 2027.

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