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France launches a referendum for animals

News Section Icon Published 06/07/2020

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On the 2nd July, France launched the first Shared Initiative Referendum for animals in the country’s history.

We joined journalist Hugo Clément and some of France’s most-prominent business leaders in launching the Initiative. Alongside other organisations and numerous high profile individuals, we are attempting to transform animal legislation in France.

Six measures to protect animals

The Shared Initiative Referendum calls for six measures to protect animals. These measures consist of a series of bans on:

  • fur farming,
  • hound hunting and other “traditional” hunting methods such as bird traps,
  • live wild animal shows,
  • animal research where alternative research methods can be followed,
  • caged farming from 1 January 2025,
  • factory farming by 2040. This measure also includes an immediate moratorium on any new intensive animal farms; any new farm planning permissions will have to guarantee animals have outdoor access.

Empowering citizens for a better future

Léopoldine Charbonneaux, our Director of CIWF France said: “We are honoured to be a part of this referendum. Alongside our partner organisations, we could end the cage age in France and become one of the first countries to bring in a ban on the building of new intensive farms, bettering millions of farm animals lives.”

A Shared Initiative Referendum has two necessary phases. Firstly, to be endorsed and submitted by at least 185 members of the French Parliament. Following this, 3.7 million signatures are required for a successful referendum. It’s a participatory democracy tool, similar to the End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) we launched in September 2018.

With more than 1.5 million signatures, the End the Cage Age ECI has been the most successful ECI for farmed animals. Such a huge wave of support proves that the welfare and protection of animals is a priority for citizens on a national and European level and, therefore, it should also be a priority for national Governments and EU Institutions. 

Find out how close each country is across Europe to a 100% cage-free future and how you can help End the Cage Age.


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