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The Big Move across the EU

News Section Icon Published 19/04/2011

Europeans unite against battery cages

On Tuesday 19 April 2011, a normal weekday lunchtime was turned upside down when Compassion in World Farming showed up at Trafalgar Square in London to defend the EU-wide implementation of a ban on barren battery cages.

TV presenter, Bill Oddie and Victoria Connelly, author of The Perfect Hero and A Weekend with Mr Darcy, joined Compassion and supporters at the event, which forms part of The Big Move campaign.

Hens joined the pigeons in Trafalgar Square

Compassion erected four human-sized barren battery cages. Each cage crammed with five red-headed women to symbolise the plight of the hens reared in barren battery cages. Members of the public were invited to spend 10 minutes confined in one of the cages to experience the impoverished life of the battery caged hen.

The most significant piece of animal welfare legislation since the creation of the EU.

The Big Move aims to ensure a proposed ban on the use of barren battery cages, goes ahead across the EU on 1 January 2012 as planned, without any delays or exceptions. Despite having had up to 12 years to prepare for the ban, some countries, such as Poland are calling for a delay because they feel they have not had enough time to prepare! It is unacceptable for countries to try to attempt to weaken the resolve of the EU Commission. Compassion believes that member states need to focus on getting ready, not on trying to delay the ban.

See the action from all over Europe

European citizens united to show an unprecedented level of public feeling across Europe about this significant issue for farm animal welfare. 17 member organisations of the European Network for Farm Animal Protection also held calls for action on Tuesday, across 14 EU countries, including Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, and Latvia.

Michele Danan, Head of Public Affairs at Compassion in World Farming comments:

"This landmark piece of legislation will save millions of hens every year from a barren and brutal existence. Requests for delays, like the one from Poland, can weaken the political resolve at EU level and are dangerous if not counteracted by strong public pressure. I personally don't want to look back this time next year and feel that we didn't do everything possible to defend the ban."

After the demonstration, supporters marched to the European Commission and to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) in Westminster to hand in a petition and a letter requesting support.

Take action

If you weren't able to join us on Tuesday, it's not to late to show your support. Please urge the President of the EU Agriculture Council not to spoil the ban by clicking here.


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