It’s Eurovision Time! Let’s Create a Better Vision for Europe
The Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest is tonight, and whichever country you’re rooting for, there’s something that all caring Europeans should get behind: we need 1 million people across Europe to join the #EndTheCageAge campaign by signing the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to ban the use of cages in animal farming.
Image of a pig by Jo-Anne McArthur / Oikeutta ElÃ¤imille
Last year, Netta Barzilai won Eurovision with her song featuring chicken noises. This year, let’s make some noise for chickens. On farms across Europe, cage confinement inflicts suffering on enormous numbers of animals. The wire mesh of cages rubs off chickens’ feathers, chafes their skin, and cripples their feet. And farmers cut off part of their beaks when they’re just a few days old to prevent them from pecking each other to death in response to the stress of severe crowding.
Farrowing crates prevent mother pigs from fulfilling their strong urge to build a nest and care for their babies as they would naturally. Rabbits are social animals who require a stimulating environment, and they can go insane when kept inside cramped wire cages. Ducks are kept in small individual cages and regularly and painfully force-fed – until their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size – before finally being killed for foie gras.
A unique tool for change, an ECI is a powerful initiative to influence lawmakers in Europe. That means it requires more personal data than a regular petition. Each EU member state has set its own rules for collecting signatures – some require details such as a passport or ID number. The website has been certified according to EU regulations to ensure that personal data are stored securely, are used only for validating your ECI signature, and will be deleted after signatures have been counted.
Because of Brexit, there is a separate petition calling on the UK government to end the cage age. UK citizens can help animals on farms here.