#EndTheCageAge Update: 1,397,113 Signatures Handed In to European Commission

Posted by on October 2, 2020 | Permalink

The European Commission has now received the #EndTheCageAge European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), signed by 1,397,113 people across Europe, calling on the EU to put an end to the use of confinement systems in animal farming. This marks one of the most significant days in the biggest-ever political push for animal welfare on farms.

Image shows the silhouette of pigs and a sunset. Text: “It's official! 1,397,113 people say End the Cage Age.”© Compassion in World Farming

Launched in 2018 by 170 groups, including PETA, the #EndTheCageAge ECI has been a collaborative journey. The aim? To help more than 300 million pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, and quails imprisoned in cages and other confinement systems across the EU.

The campaign included events held in EU countries and collaborations with influential MEPs and celebrities to ensure the European Commission listened to our voices. It also featured the launch of new undercover investigations showing that vulnerable young calves are caged and isolated on EU farms, ducks and geese are barbarically abused for foie gras, quails are kept in cramped cages that hold as many as 80 birds, and rabbits spend their entire lives inside cages so small that they can barely stand upright, let alone hop.

A unique tool for change, an ECI is a powerful initiative to influence lawmakers in Europe. Following the required signature validation period, the #EndTheCageAge campaign exceeded the required threshold of 1 million signatures, with a total of 1,397,113 validated signatures from across Europe. It also received at least the minimum number of signatures in 18 EU member states, far outstripping the seven required. The #EndTheCageAge ECI made history:

  • It’s the sixth most successful ECI out of 75 registered initiatives in the last eight years.
  • It has the third-highest signature count for registered initiatives.
  • It’s the first-ever successful ECI on farmed-animal welfare.

Thanks to dedicated activists; the collaborative effort between environmental, consumer rights, and animal protection groups; Compassion in World Farming’s coordination; and, of course, the 1,397,113 ECI signatories, we’ve taken an important step towards ending factory farming. Now, the European Commission must listen and put forward meaningful legislative proposals to phase out confinement systems in animal farming in the EU.