On 23rd February, a letter signed by more than 140 scientists, including 20 UK signatories and world-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, UN Messenger of Peace and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, was submitted to the European Commission in support of the citizens' call to end the use of cages for farmed animals in the EU.
Launched in 2018 in collaboration with 170 environmental, consumer rights and animal protection NGOs from across Europe, the European Citizens' Initiative urges the EU to phase out the use of all cages in farming.
Science tells us animals suffer in cages
“Most people today understand that birds are sentient beings. We have kept hens rescued from factory farms – each had a distinct personality, all showed emotions such as pleasure and fear," said Dr Goodall. "A growing body of scientific research supports this, and there can be no doubt that life crammed into a small cage is causing great suffering. The EU needs to take action on behalf of the millions of hens and other animals treated in this cruel manner.”
Despite the EU Treaty’s recognition of animals as sentient beings, over 300 million pigs, hens, rabbits, ducks and quail are confined in cages across Europe. Most cages are barren, cramped, and deny the animals space to move freely. Scientific research shows that cages have inherent severe disadvantages for animal welfare which the letter details. Moving away from cage farming could benefit hundreds of millions of animals a year.
Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU and Substitute Representative of the End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative, said, “The End the Cage Age campaign has the backing of over 170 European organisations, dozens of Members of the European Parliament, the European Committee of the Regions and 1.4 million EU citizens. Animals in cages live miserable lives, and it is simply unacceptable. The European Commission must commit to legislation that will End the Cage Age for good.”
While the European Commission refuses to act, millions of animals suffer. It is time for the EU to listen to the science and finally End the Cage Age.
Read the letter here.