News 01.07.2021

EU plans to put an end to cage farming

iStock / kadmy

The European Commission wants to abolish cage farming. This is a great success for the European Citizens' Initiative "End the Cage Age" supported by over one million Europeans from 18 different member states.

The European Commission will adopt a legislative proposal by 2023 to prohibit cages for a number of farm animals. This was announced by the executive on Wednesday 30th June. They decided to positively respond to the ‘End the Cage Age’ European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which was supported by foodwatch and signed by 1.4 million citizens, and change the lives of more than 300 million farm animals in the EU. The Commission plans to examine whether the regulations can come into force by 2027, until then about 300 million sows, rabbits and chickens will remain caged in Europe. foodwatch demands that the Commission takes immediate action.

It is overdue that the EU treats animals as sentient beings, as stated in Article 13 of the EU "Constitution", i.e. the Lisbon Treaty.
Matthias Wolfschmidt International Strategy Director at foodwatch International

foodwatch advocates that proper animal welfare must also be anchored in all trade agreements with immediate effect. Higher EU requirements for animal welfare must not be undermined by cheap imports from third countries that are not respecting EU standards in the treatment of animals. In accordance with WTO rules, the EU can and must demand that imports of animal products be made on the basis of the same animal welfare standards that apply in the EU's internal market.

Ensure animal welfare in all trade agreements

More than 100,000 people have signed an email campaign by foodwatch in recent weeks demanding trade measures from the EU Commission to bring about the end of the cage era. According to foodwatch, such adjustment measures to protect European farm animals must neither discriminate against third countries nor be protectionist. There is already a historical model for this: a WTO agreement that allows the EU to ban the import of baby seal pelts.