Press Release 27.06.2024

foodwatch joins legal action against EU Commission on caged animal farming

foodwatch joins the lawsuit of the European Citizens' Initiative „End the Cage Age“ against the EU Commission. Following the successful ECI, the Commission had made a legally binding commitment to present concrete legislative proposals for an EU ban on cage farming by the end of 2023. However, as this has not yet happened, the citizens' initiative committee is now taking the EU Commission to court. foodwatch will apply to the European Court of Justice to become an intervener in the lawsuit, bringing in the consumers perspective. 

„The suffering of millions of farmed animals makes the failure of EU agricultural policy very clear. Consumers don’t want to buy products from animals that suffer in cages. That’s why foodwatch has actively supported the End the Cage Age ECI from the very beginning – as a watchdog organisation, we are not giving up until the very end“, said foodwatch International’s Executive Director Jörg Rohwedder. „Ignoring 1.4 million European consumers calling for a ban on cages and not sticking to the promised timeline, is a betrayal of democracy. ECI’s like this are important tools to ensure a participatory process and make sure that consumers are heard. We won’t let it go.“

The European Citizens' Initiative „End the Cage Age“ was initiated by Compassion in World Farming and was supported by 170 European organizations from across the EU. It collected more than 1.4 million signatures. In 2021, the Commission made a clear commitment to introduce legislative proposals for an EU ban on caged farming before the end of 2023. As of today, nothing has been published.  

Across the EU, around 300 million pigs, hens, rabbits and other animals spend most of their lives in cages every year. Laying hens and rabbits, for example, are confined to barren cages about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Sows are forced to nurse their piglets in crates so small they can’t even turn around. Ducks and geese are caged for force feeding to produce foie gras.