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S&Ds: animals’ welfare is our welfare. It’s time to put an end to the Cage Age


10 Jun 2021


Agriculture & Food

‘End the Cage Age!’ The European Parliament has just approved a resolution in the framework of the European Citizens Initiative and supported by over 1.4 million European citizens across all member states. It stems from Article13 TFEU, which recognises animals - such as hens, calves, pigs, and farmed rabbits - as sentient beings. In line with the Green Deal, and the Farm to Fork Strategy, the S&D Group fully shares citizens’ concerns and will fight to phase out the use of cages in EU animal farming, and for the setting of minimum standards and promotion of animal welfare.

S&D rapporteur and coordinator in agriculture committee, Paolo De Castro MEP, said:

“Faced with almost one and a half million citizens who are asking to put an end to the use of cages, as the EU Parliament, we have taken an active part in this challenge by asking the Commission to put on the table as soon as possible the necessary legislative instruments to start the transition towards cage-free farming systems.

“Animal health is indeed our health. However, we are not starting this transition from scratch.

“Our farmers and breeders have shown their awareness of this close connection by already investing in the elimination of cages for numerous animal species. These innovations have allowed the EU to be the guarantor of some of the highest standards of animal health and welfare globally.

“We now need a further effort to ensure that the use of cages is consigned to history, making room for the most appropriate housing systems, according to the characteristics of each animal.

“We now need a further effort to guide and support our farmers towards a qualitative leap in farming systems, which will benefit citizens and consumers, and which must be defended and promoted internationally.

“Together, citizens, farmers and EU Institutions, we can do this.”