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Government fails to set out plans to End the Cage Age

News Section Icon Published 20/06/2022

  • Compassion in World Farming is extremely disappointed that the Government, during the End the Cage Age debate in Parliament this evening (20th June), failed to set out any plans for improving the welfare of over 16 million farm animals in the UK that are confined to cages for all or part of their life.
  • The debate followed over 109,000 people signing a parliamentary petition, led by Compassion Patron Deborah Meaden, that called on the UK Government to End the Cage Age for all farmed animals.
  • Every year across the UK, 16 million farmed animals are kept in cages. These systems confine, restrict, and prevent animals from expressing many of their essential, natural behaviours.

James West, Senior Communications Manager at Compassion in World Farming, said:

“It has been over a year since Defra published their Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which committed to 'examining the use of cages for laying hens and farrowing crates for pigs'. Over 109,000 people signed the petition by Deborah Meaden, calling on the Government to deliver on that ambition, but still the Government has failed to step up to the plate.

"Cage-free farming systems, which allow each animal to express their individual needs, are already widely used, have been proven to be economically viable and are increasingly what the public expect of British farming. Several European countries have already banned caged systems, and the European Commission has said it will bring forward a legislative proposal which could End the Cage Age across the EU from 2027.

"Countries as far afield as Israel, Taiwan and New Zealand are also taking steps to end cruel caged systems. So why is Britain falling behind other countries in this area? It is time for the UK Government to show global leadership in best practice for farm animal welfare and End the Cage Age.”

For further information or to book an interview, contact Compassion in World Farming’s Media Team: 01483 521 615

To request a pdf version of this media statement, please email



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