The European Parliament voted for a resolution to ban cages in the European Union farms.
Stop cage breeding in the European Union. On June 10th (with 558 votes in favour, 37 against and 85 abstentions), the European Parliament officially invited the Commission to propose legislative instruments to phase out cages on farms in the Union by 2027.
The Parliament - in response to the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "End of the Cage Age" - adopts by a large majority a resolution that aims to put higher standards for animal welfare.
The "End of the cage"
With the ECI's initiative "End of the Cage Age" presented on October 2nd 2020, over 1.4 million Europeans asked to progressively ban cage breeding by 2027.
The petition was launched by Compassion in World Farming, a non-profit association that works for the protection and welfare of animals in factory farming. The association is supported by more than 170 companies in defence of animal rights, consumers and the environment.
The 21 Italian associations that support the initiative state that: "EU citizens have been waiting for years to see a ban on cages. Therefore, we are pleased that the European Parliament has taken a firm stand against cages and listened to the 1.4 million European citizens who have supported the "End the Cage Age". Now everything is up to the Commission's court. We expect to see a shift from words to action, with an ambitious timetable that will end the use of such instruments of torture."
New animal welfare standards
According to Compassion in World Farming, more than 300 million caged animals across Europe are forced to live in inadequate and insufficient spaces. Faced with the dramatic situation of factory farming, MEPs agreed to end such practices.
They also stressed the need to ensure that all products placed on the EU market – including the imported ones – comply with future cage-free standards, highlighting the need to provide adequate incentives and financial programmes to support farmers during the transition.
Finally, the Parliament called on the Commission to speed up the European animal welfare legislation revision (by 2022, instead of by 2023) to ensure that the ban will be introduced by the end of the current Commission's mandate - scheduled for 2024.
The European Parliament considers it necessary that the phasing out of cages – conveyed by an appropriate transition period – should be based on a scientifically-based impact assessment. To ensure fair conditions to farmers across the European Union, MEPs agreed on the need for EU legislation to develop and improve alternatives to cage systems.