Progress! European Parliament Shows Overwhelming Support for #EndTheCageAge

Posted by on June 15, 2021 | Permalink

The EU is moving closer to ending the cage age and banning the force-feeding of birds for foie gras! This week, with an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the “End the Cage Age” European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)!

Great Progress for Hens and Rabbits

The resolution urges the European Commission to revise the outdated EU directive to phase out cruel cage systems in animal farming. This will prevent more than 300 million animals – like hens, pigs, and rabbits – from being kept in cramped cages every year.

“[The Commission’s commitment to improving the welfare of animals] does remain a moral, a health and an economic imperative.”

– Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also pushed the Commission to speed up the review of the EU animal welfare legislation, asking for it to be completed by 2022 instead of 2023, as currently planned. This will ensure that the ban on cages in animal agriculture will be introduced within the mandate of the current Commission, which will leave office in 2024.

Good News for Ducks and Geese, Too!

MEPs also called on the European Commission to “put forward proposals to ban the cruel and unnecessary force-feeding of ducks and geese for the production of foie gras.” To produce foie gras – which translates to “fatty liver” – workers grab ducks and geese by the neck, shove metal pipes down their throats, and pump massive amounts of grain and fat into their stomachs several times a day in a barbaric process known as “gavage”. The birds are made to swallow the equivalent for humans of nearly 2 kilograms of food every single day to enlarge their liver to up to 10 times its natural size, causing disease, injury, and eventually, death.

What’s ‘End the Cage Age’?

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.

What’s Next?

All eyes are on the European Commission, which should respond to the “End the Cage Age” ECI by 30 June. And if that goes well, a proposal for new legislation would then be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. We’ll keep you posted!

What You Can Do

The best thing you can do for all animals right here, right now, is to stop eating them. Take our vegan pledge to make a world of difference for hens and cows:

The end of the notoriously cruel foie gras industry is in sight, but birds can’t wait any longer – they need your help right now. Urge the government to ban UK sales and imports of foie gras: