The European Parliament has taken the first step towards making cages for farmed animals a thing of the past after MEPs overwhelmingly backed a resolution to ‘End the Cage Age’ by 2027.
Responding to a petition, which has garnered 1.4 million signatures from more than 18 member states over the past few months, MEPs asked the EU Commission to come up with legislative proposals to ban caged farming in the EU.
As it currently stands, a wide range of farming animals, from laying hens to rabbits and pigs, are permitted to be kept in cages across the EU.
But that could all change after the landmark resolution passed.
In order to safeguard famers, Parliament agreed that a gradual end of the use of cages should be based on a species-by-species approach taking into account the characteristics of different animals and ensuring that they all have housing systems to suit their specific needs.
They also called for assurances that all products placed on the EU market – including imported ones – comply with future cage-free standards.
Green MEP Eleonora Evi, the co-chair of the working group on cage-free farming, said this vote marked a “historical day” in the fight for a cage-free Europe.
“By adopting with a large majority a resolution, the European Parliament brought the EU a step closer to finally ending the cruel practice of caged farming, which every year condemns over 300 million animals to live in a cage,” she said.
Another co-chair of the group, leftist MEP Anja Hazekamp, added that a legislative proposal “must now be put forward without delay”.
“All animal cages in Europe must disappear at the latest by 2027,” she urged.
Commenting on the resolution, Olga Kikou, head of compassion in world farming EU, said she was “delighted” that the European Parliament has taken a firm stance against cages.
“The time has come now for politicians to put words into action. From today on, the ball is in the Commission’s court,” she said, stressing that she expects “nothing short of an ambitious timetable for ending the use of these outdated torture instruments called cages”.
“Once this happens, the EU could truly claim global leadership in animal welfare,” she said.