July 20, 2021 – The “End the Cage Age” campaign to ban the breeding of caged animals has been approved by the European Commission with the support of the European Parliament. 170 European animal rights associations, including Animal friends Croatia, celebrated this major step towards improving animal welfare in Europe!
Since the launch of the Ending the Age of Cages campaign in September 2018 led by Compassion in World Farming EU, it garnered 1.4 million signatures and broad support from citizens and animal welfare associations across Europe. Two of these associations include Animal friends Croatia and Victorious Association who were responsible for collecting signatures from Croatian citizens who supported this campaign. On June 30, 2021, the European Commission finally announced its commitment to phase out animal cages on European farms by 2027, making it the first successful civic animal welfare initiative in the European Union!
The European Parliament also supported the ban on cages in breeding. BBC reported that parliament had “serious concerns” about the housing and welfare of animals on farms, with many of these animals not having enough room to stand up straight, stretch or even roll over. Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health, also announced that animals are sentient beings and humans have a moral and societal responsibility to ensure that conditions on the farm for animals reflect this. According to the BBC, the EU has one of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, however, data collected by End the Cage Age suggested that there is still plenty of room for improvement. In 2020, it showed that 94% of farmed rabbits in the EU are caged, as are 49% of farmed hens and 85% of farmed sows.
The European Commission aims to revise current EU legislation by committing to present a legislative proposal by the end of 2023 and to completely eliminate the use of cages for chickens, cows, rabbits, calves , ducks, geese and other livestock in 2027. The committee is also committed to ensuring that the EU will only import products from third countries that comply with cage-free standards and, finally, to provide systems, incentives and financial support to European farmers in their transition to farming. cage-free agriculture. the Ending the Age of Cages announced that this monumental event is not the end and the success of the campaign, however, it is only the beginning. The campaign’s mission now is to monitor and ensure that the European Commission and promised laws and legislative processes are implemented. It’s also now reported that some EU countries are already supporting this change. Austria and Luxembourg have already banned the caging of battery hens completely while the Czech Republic and Germany have started implementing protocols to unilaterally ban caged hens by 2025.
Many associations celebrated this milestone for animal welfare in Europe, including a number of politicians and members of parliament and longtime animal rights activists, Tilly Metz and Francisco Guerreiro. According to Animal friends Croatia, the approval of the petition is a huge victory for animals and a big step in the fight to completely stop the exploitation and killing of animals. “The European Commission’s commitment to ban cages across Europe will have a huge impact on millions of animals. We want to thank all the 1.4 million EU citizens and the hundreds of organizations who fought for this historic moment, “said Reineke Hameleers – Executive Director of Eurogroup for animals. The Osijek Pobjeda association also thanked everyone who supported the campaign by signing and sharing the information. Activists are proud to make a difference for the more than 300 million farm animals that suffer greatly from the harsh farming conditions. Animal Friends Croatia also urges everyone to adopt a plant-based diet and so as not to further contribute to cruelty to animals by purchasing animal foods and products. “It’s horrible that in factory farming animals are kept their entire short lives in cramped cages they can’t even turn around, and then end up brutally in a slaughterhouse,” AFC said.
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