In September 2018, along with 170 other organisations, we embarked on the colossal challenge to gain over 1 million signatures of support to End the Cage Age – in a ground-breaking European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). To add to the task, the signatures had to be achieved within a year, across all twenty-eight EU countries including the UK.
UK citizens join the fight
With an uncertain political climate threatening to move the goal posts, we continued to urge UK supporters to sign the ECI. We hoped that these signatures would be counted in the grand total and help to end the use of cruel, unnecessary cages but we had no guarantee.
In the UK, over 16 million hens are imprisoned in cages and more than a quarter of a million mother pigs are forced to give birth in a cage and raise their piglets through bars. Most cages are barren, cramped, and deny the animals space to move freely.
On 11th September 2019, after months of relentless work, the ECI closed having gained more than 1.5 million signatures – marking one of the most significant days for farm animals ever. And this December, a Christmas gift from the UK Competent Authority arrived – 54,114 UK signatures have been officially verified for the ECI!
This is a major step for farm animal welfare and a major success for all those involved.
UK farm animal welfare must not be left behind
Now it’s time for the European Commission to make the changes that the citizens demand. But as Brexit looms, what will this mean for the future of farm animals in the UK? It’s ironic that we are due to leave the EU, just as we have gained so much public support. Despite this, factory farming must be defeated and as a nation of animal lovers we must urge the new UK Government (once they are in place) to ensure the improvement of farm animal welfare is a priority.
Help end factory farming
You've already spoken out to help improve the lives of farm animals across Europe, but there is still so much more to do. Please support us to continue our work to end factory farming by donating today.