pigs in a cage

Big Success for the #EndTheCageAge ECI

The EU Parliament passed a resolution on the “End The Cage Age” European Citizens Initiative and puts further pressure on the European Commission to improve welfare standards across the EU.


Brussels, 10 June 2021 – FOUR PAWS welcomes the decision taken in today’s vote. After representatives of both, PETI and AGRI committee spoke in support of the Initiative at a joint hearing on the ECI with both committees on the 15th of April, a majority of the MEPs in today's plenary session of the European Parliament voted in favour of a motion for a resolution on the #EndTheCageAge initiative. The MEPs join 1.4 million EU citizens, over 170 organisations, scientists and celebrities in demanding an end to caged farming of animals in the EU.

Today is a good day for animal welfare. The support of the MEPs clearly shows that the 1.4 million EU citizens, who overwhelmingly have supported the ECI since 2018, have like-minded support from the European Parliament. The outcome of the vote puts much needed pressure on the European Commission to finally pass much needed legislation that bans caging of farmed animals,” say Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy Office at FOUR PAWS. Despite the EU´s recognition of animals as sentient beings, over 300 million pigs, calves, chickens, ducks, quail and rabbits are still forced to live in cages in the European Union today. Sultana continues: “If the ECI is properly addressed by the Commission, this would finally be a thing of the past. The European Commission must listen to citizens, experts and scientists.”

Not only is a ban of cages in farming a matter of animal welfare, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that animal welfare and public health are linked. Animals in cages are exposed to confined and unnatural living conditions, constant stress and poor breeding, all of which makes them more vulnerable to diseases. Having thousands of animals in small spaces also creates the perfect environment for diseases to spread and mutate and possibly be transmitted to humans. “Over 75% of newly emerging diseases are zoonotic, meaning that they originate in animals, so by addressing this ECI the European Commission also takes important steps towards preventing the next pandemic,” say Sultana. “The EU now needs to work on mitigating the damage caused by intensive farming in the past and work towards a future that is kinder to animals and safer for citizens.”

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org 

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