Today on World Cage Free Day (13th October), world renowned conservationist and our Patron, Dr Jane Goodall, has joined citizens and NGOs in urging the European Union to stop the suffering and end the cage age.
Two years ago, the European Commission committed to banning cages for the 300 million farmed animals who are confined in cages, pens or stalls, often unable to move at all or express any natural behaviours. Yet the Commission has so far failed to publish proposals for the ban as promised.
Caged and confined
The commitment to ban cages was made in response to the End the Cage Age European Citizens Initiative (ECI) signed by more than 1.4 million citizens as part of a campaign involving 170 NGOs which we initiated and coordinated. The failure to keep this promise to date has outraged supporters and activists across the EU.
In her video message to President von der Leyen, renowned ethologist and conservationist, UN Messenger of Peace and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, Dr Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, said: “Every year 300 million sentient animals are caged, confined in industrial farms across the EU. These factory farming systems are outdated, they cause immense suffering to millions of animals, all of whom are able to feel frustration, fear and pain… I was really upset when the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen didn’t commit to the reforms in her State of the Union speech. It seems she has listened to big business, rather than to the millions of EU citizens who support the promised ban on cages.”
Stop the Suffering, End the Cage Age
Today, supporters all over Europe will show their support for the ban by sending a clear message to President von der Leyen in social media posts showing the palms of their hands illustrated with a cage bars. Together they are urging her to ‘Stop the Suffering, End the Cage Age’ and following #EndTheCageAge.
We also released a new analysis of MEPs’ votes on farmed animal welfare that reveals a clear disconnect between what citizens ask for and how MEPs vote.
While eight out of ten Europeans* believe that the welfare of farmed animals should be better protected, this is not reflected by the elected representatives of the European citizens. Out of the 10,265 individual votes analysed, only four out of ten votes were for higher welfare for farmed animals.
Calling for action on cages
Earlier this week (11th October), we joined a number of other organisations and citizens to rally outside the EU Commission building in Brussels demanding the EU publishes its full proposals for revised animal welfare legislation, including the promised ban on cages.
Olga Kikou, Head of our EU Office, said: “It is outrageous and a complete betrayal of EU citizens that the EU is listening to big business and ignoring the clear will of the European people – 94% of whom believe the welfare of farm animals is important*.
“It will not end here – we will be stepping up the campaign to ensure the EU makes every single cage an empty cage. Today supporters in all over the EU will demonstrate their support for the ban by posting photos of their hands in a ‘stop’ gesture on social media in a collective message to the EU saying: Stop the suffering and End the Cage Age".
Please show your support for the ban today by posting images on social media of the palm of your hand illustrated with an image of cage bars, demonstrating unity to ‘Stop the Suffering, End the Cage Age’ and following #EndTheCageAge.