UK Government urged to End the Cage Age
Today (13 December), Compassion in World Farming staged a photo stunt at iconic landmarks in London and outside the offices of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), to raise awareness of their ‘End the Cage Age’ campaign.
Around 8 million UK farmed animals spend most of their lives confined in cages. This includes millions of laying hens confined to spaces so small, they are unable to fully stretch their wings or display natural behaviours. In addition, 60% of mother pigs in the UK are confined to barren farrowing crates, preventing them from being able to turn around or nuzzle their young.
Despite the UK and Scottish Governments previously promising consultations to examine the use of cages in farming, both have failed to take any further action. And disappointingly, in June, the UK Government said they “do not consider the time is right to consult on cage reforms”.
The stunt highlighted to the public the need for Defra to open cages for farmed animals this Christmastime. It also aimed to remind the Government of the almost 400,000 petition signatures submitted to Defra this time last year, urging them to finally deliver on their promised consultations on caged farming.
Campaigners dressed in eye-catching outfits of cages, partially wrapped as presents, made their way over Westminster Bridge, past Big Ben, through Parliament Square, and onto the Defra offices in Marsham Street, where they handed Christmas cards to Defra staff containing shocking statistics on the number of UK animals caged on farms. Cards were also handed out to the public on route, encouraging them to support action to End the Cage Age and help raise awareness of the campaign.
Susie Aliband, Senior UK Campaigns Manager at Compassion in World Farming, said: “Of all the contraptions used to control animals, the cage is one of the worst. It’s high time we said goodbye to the cruel practice of imprisoning farmed animals behind bars.
“With Steve Barclay announced as new Defra Secretary of State last month, we have a new opportunity to speak out for the farmed animals confined in cages across the UK. It is important that the Government publish their promised consultations on cages and take action to End the Cage Age. A life in a cage is no life at all.”
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Notes to Editors
- The UK Government announced they would not be publishing a consultation on cage reforms in response to a Parliamentary Question in June 2023.