Revealed: How Quails Suffer on European Factory Farms

Posted by on March 26, 2019 | Permalink

Around 143 million quails are farmed in the UK and elsewhere in Europe for their meat and eggs. Many are kept in cramped cages that hold as many as 80 birds, giving them just 9.3 x 9.3 centimetres of floor space each: that’s an area smaller than the average size of a smartphone. This is yet another reason why we need to #EndTheCageAge.

Quails are the factory-farming industry’s tiniest victims, and footage and photos from Compassion in World Farming reveal how they suffer in cages on farms in Greece and Italy.

In the wild, quails’ habitats are grassy fields, croplands, and meadows. They live on the ground – foraging, nesting, and sleeping in the grass – and dust-bathe regularly to keep their feathers clean. On factory farms, they don’t have the opportunity to engage in this natural behaviour.

When in danger, quails instinctively fly upwards at speed in order to escape. This response to a perceived threat can easily be triggered in cage-confinement systems – for example, when workers enter the barns housing the cages – and can lead to injury, as the birds hit the top of the cage head first.

Quail 4 - Greece investigation 2016_© Compassion in World Farming© Compassion in World Farming

Quail 6 - Italy investigation 2016_© Compassion in World Farming© Compassion in World Farming

Quail 8 - Italy investigation 2016_© Compassion in World Farming© Compassion in World Farming

Quail 10 - Italy investigation 2016_© Compassion in World Farming© Compassion in World Farming

Join the Campaign to End Cage Farming

Cage confinement inflicts suffering on enormous numbers of animals, including quails, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. But a massive coalition of organisations is uniting to push the EU and UK governments to end the cage age.

Through the #EndTheCageAge European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), EU citizens are coming together to help rid Europe of these cages and deal a potentially devastating blow to industries that abuse animals. PETA and over 140 other groups have already mobilised more than 650,000 people across Europe. But to be successful, the ECI must be backed by at least 1 million voting-age EU citizens from at least seven member states, securing us the right to a public hearing in the European Parliament and compelling the European Commission to spell out what action it will take in response.

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 is stored securely, is used only for validating your ECI signature, and will be deleted after signatures have been counted. Because of the upcoming Brexit deadline, signatures from UK citizens will not be valid at the September 2019 #EndTheCageAge ECI end date.

In the UK, millions of animals are forced to spend their entire lives imprisoned in cramped, filthy, barren cages or crates. This is extremely cruel and unnecessary – which is why, together with other leading animal-protection groups, we’ve launched a petition calling on the government to take an important first step in reducing the suffering of animals on farms by banning the use of cruel confinement systems in animal agriculture. We need to gather 100,000 signatures in order to bring about an important parliamentary debate on the issue.

If you live in the UK, please join PETA, other animal-protection organisations, and a host of public figures – including Joanna Lumley and Deborah Meaden – in calling for a ban on the use of cruel confinement systems on UK farms by signing the petition.

If we work together and raise our voices, we’ll have an opportunity to #EndTheCageAge.