There European Commission announced that it intends to present a legislative proposal by the end of 2023 to phase out and finally ban permanently theuse of cages for a range of farm animals by 2027.
This was announced by European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides and Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová, during a press conference on the Commission’s response toEuropean Citizens Initiative (ICE) “End the cage age”, sustained from 1.4 million citizens across the EU.
The existing European legislation on animal protection concerns all farm animals, but only laying hens, broilers, sows and calves are covered by the legislation on the use of cages.
The Commission proposal
The Commission proposal will concern in particular the animals already covered by the legislation: laying hens, sows and calves, but also other animals specified in the ICE (rabbits, pullets, breeding laying hens, breeding broilers, quails, ducks and geese). For these animals, the Commission has already asked EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) to integrate existing scientific data to determine the conditions necessary to ban cages.
The proposal will be included in the ongoing review of animal welfare legislation under the ‘Farm to Consumer’ strategy. The Commission has already undertaken to propose one revision of legislation in the matter of animal welfare also with regard to transport and breeding; the legislation is currently subject to an adequacy check, which must be completed by the summer of 2022.
The reaction of the associations that promoted the initiative
The promoters of the initiative spoke of “a historic day for the protection of animals ”, which is“ the result of the work of a coalition of 170 NGOs from all over Europe, of which 21 are Italian ”.
“This represents the biggest change in the animal exploitation system for the number of animals involved”, is the comment of the Italian associations. “Today’s announcement represents a historic step towards the abolition of cages for 300 million animals and places an important milestone for overcoming the exploitation of animals for food purposes. We will remain focused on the European institutions until they carry out this project and we will be vigilant to prevent other interests from moderating their ambition. “
“Intensive farming it is the greatest cruelty to billions of animals – sentient beings – confined to these places around the world. Ending the use of cages is an important step towards the end of intensive farming ”.
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