122,515 of 150,000 signatures

To the European Commission

End the Cage Age

Hundreds of millions of EU farm animals are kept in cages for most of their lives, causing great suffering. We call on the European Commission to end this inhumane treatment of farm animals.

Cages inflict suffering on enormous numbers of farm animals every year. They are cruel and unnecessary, as higher-welfare cage-free systems are viable. The Commission is therefore invited to propose legislation to prohibit the use of:

  • cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese;
  • farrowing crates for sows;
  • sow stalls, where not already prohibited
  • individual calf pens, where not already prohibited

Why is this important?

Big business is making big money from animal suffering. In Europe alone, hundreds of millions of animals spend most of their lives, some from birth to death, in a cage. Mother pigs are forced to nurse their piglets in crates. Ducks and geese are caged to be force-fed to produce foie gras (the liver of a fattened duck or goose). Rabbits and quail spend their entire lives in barren cages.

In Europe alone, hundreds of millions of animals spend most of their lives, some from birth to death, in a cage. Cages keep animals isolated or tightly packed in confined areas. In the worst cases, the cages are barren, provide minimal space and prevent even moderate exercise. [2] Just like you and me, other animals also feel bored, anxious, and sick. None of us could live in a cage without extreme suffering.

Polls show that Europeans do care about the well-being of animals. 94% of people in Europe believe protecting the welfare of farm animals is important and 82% feel that they should be more protected. [1] EU leaders need to hear our voices, and the only official way we can reach them definitively is through the ECI. Together we can ban the cage age in European farming.

EU legislation already stipulates that “the freedom of movement of an animal...must not be restricted to cause unnecessary suffering.” [3] It also states that “where an animal is continuously or regularly confined, it must be given the space appropriate...” [4] Confinement systems used on farms throughout Europe breach this EU legislation, yet these cage systems continue to be routinely used in many EU member states.

Because this campaign is a European Citizens’ Initiative, you’ll have to enter your details in a two-step process. The ECI is like an official EU petition, so it requires more information than we’d normally ask from you to sign a petition. Please fully complete the ECI form in order to have your signature counted and verified by your national government.


References:

  1. Until 2013, in most of the European Union, sow stalls could be used throughout pregnancy. Now, the EU Pigs Directive prohibits the use of sow stalls after the first four weeks following insemination. However, the farrowing crate is allowed and used routinely for up to 5 weeks per pregnancy in many EU member states.
  2. Extreme confinement is still a feature of farming systems for many different species – from pigs forced to nurse their piglets in crates, to rabbits and quail enduring whole lives in barren cages, and ducks and geese caged for force-feeding to produce foie gras.
    https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/7434596/end-the-cage-age-why-the-eu-must-stop-caging-farm-animals.pdf
  3. “Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes” https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31998L0058:EN:HTML
  4. “European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes” https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/animals/docs/aw_european_convention_protection_animals_en.pdf

Next: add a few more details to sign the ECI

A European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a legal instrument, which, if successful, obliges the European Commission to hear the demands of citizens in a formal procedure.

For this reason there are also certain rules that must be followed when signing. The information fields required are not set by WeMove.EU, but are determined by which member state you are signing the ECI for. The extra information that is being asked of you is a legal requirement for your signature to be considered valid.

End the Cage Age

Hundreds of millions of EU farm animals are kept in cages for most of their lives, causing great suffering. We call on the European Commission to end this inhumane treatment of farm animals.

Cages inflict suffering on enormous numbers of farm animals every year. They are cruel and unnecessary, as higher-welfare cage-free systems are viable. The Commission is therefore invited to propose legislation to prohibit the use of:

  • cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese;
  • farrowing crates for sows;
  • sow stalls, where not already prohibited
  • individual calf pens, where not already prohibited

Your information is firstly encrypted (so no one can access it) and is stored temporarily on a secure server. At the end of the campaign, the signatures are then handed over to the officials in your country who will officially verify the signatures.

WeMove is legally prohibited from storing or using the extra information you supply for any purpose other than relating to the European Citizens’ Initiative you have supplied it for. Once the ECI has ended, the ECI organisers will destroy all the extra information supplied for the purposes of this ECI. The organisers’ ability to perform these tasks securely has been certified according to the requirements of the European Union.

All normal data protection rules and law apply.

A European Citizens' Initiative is a special way that ordinary European citizens like us can demand the European Commission investigates whether there should be a change in the law in Europe. It is different to a regular petition because this tool legally obliges the European Commission to consider and investigate our demands as citizens. So it gives us more bargaining power.

To be considered successful, a European Citizens’ Initiative needs to reach over 1 million valid signatures throughout the European Union. In addition to that, a minimum number of signatures must be reached in at least seven member states.

ECIs can only be on a topic or policy that the European Commission has the power to legislate on.

To support a European Citizens' Initiative, you must be an EU citizen (national of an EU member state) and be old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (18, except in Greece where the voting age is 17, and except Austria and Malta where the voting age is 16).

To see more information on exactly who is eligible please visit the website of the ECI from the European Commission.

Imagine being imprisoned for weeks, and having to feed your newborn children through cage bars. The majority of mother pigs in the EU have to endure a life like this, and once they are finally released from their cages, they are re-inseminated and the caged cycle begins all over again. [1]

In Europe alone, hundreds of millions of animals spend most of their lives, some from birth to death, in a cage. Cages keep animals isolated or tightly packed in confined areas. In the worst cases, the cages are barren, provide minimal space and prevent even moderate exercise. [2] Just like you and me, other animals also feel bored, anxious, and sick. None of us could live in a cage without extreme suffering.

The way animals are caged in Europe often doesn't allow them to interact with others, to socialise properly – a fundamental need for them, as it is for us humans. Moreover, some have to constantly keep the same artificial postures to fit in their cages! Basic needs like stretching or even looking around are denied.

EU legislation already stipulates that “the freedom of movement of an animal...must not be restricted to cause unnecessary suffering.” [3] It also states that “where an animal is continuously or regularly confined, it must be given the space appropriate...” [4] Confinement systems used on farms throughout Europe breach this EU legislation, yet these cage systems continue to be routinely used in many EU member states.

Because this campaign is a European Citizens’ Initiative, you’ll have to enter your details in a two-step process. The ECI is like an official EU petition, so it requires more information than we’d normally ask from you to sign a petition. Please fully complete the ECI form in order to have your signature counted and verified by your national government.


References:

  1. Until 2013, in most of the European Union, sow stalls could be used throughout pregnancy. Now, the EU Pigs Directive prohibits the use of sow stalls after the first four weeks following insemination. However, the farrowing crate is allowed and used routinely for up to 5 weeks per pregnancy in many EU member states.
  2. Extreme confinement is still a feature of farming systems for many different species – from pigs forced to nurse their piglets in crates, to rabbits and quail enduring whole lives in barren cages, and ducks and geese caged for force-feeding to produce foie gras.
    https://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/7434596/end-the-cage-age-why-the-eu-must-stop-caging-farm-animals.pdf
  3. “Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes” https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31998L0058:EN:HTML
  4. “European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes” https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/animals/docs/aw_european_convention_protection_animals_en.pdf

Please can you chip in?

The WeMove community has been at the forefront of the push for sustainable farming in Europe. There are many things wrong with the way our farming system is currently run, and cages in farming is just one of those things. Together we’ve already taken action to call for an end to industrial meat production that leads to animal suffering, monoculture and the massive use of pesticides in our farming.

To be ready to mobilise and put pressure when and where it’s most needed, we need the stability and flexibility that only small regular donations from WeMove community members like yourself can provide.

Can you chip in each month and help the struggle for good food from good farming continue?

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Next step - spread the word

Thank you for taking action against inhumane cages in our farming and signing the ECI!

Do you know anyone who would feel strongly about this campaign? Please help reach the required 1,000,000 signatures and spread the word!

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