The use of cages in farming could be phased out in the European Union by 2027, following a vote by MEPs last week.
A vote was held in the European Parliament in response to an online petition called ‘End the Cage Age’, which had gathered 1.4million signatures across the EU. A vote was held on 10 June to ban cages following an appropriate transition period and after a solid scientific impact assessment has been carried out. The resolution was adopted with 558 votes in favour to 37 against, and 85 abstentions.
MEPs said the gradual end of the use of cages should be based on a species-by-species approach that would take into account the characteristics of different animals and ensure that they all have housing systems that suit their specific needs. They stressed during the debate that before any legislative changes are made, farmers and livestock breeders must be given a sufficiently long transition period and proper support. This could include adequate advisory and training services, incentives and financial programmes to avoid farmers losing their competitive edge and prevent the relocation of EU agricultural production to places where animal welfare standards are lower than in the EU.
MEPs also call for a more comprehensive food policy to support the shift towards a more sustainable food system, but also to prevent small and medium-sized farms from abandoning livestock production and stop its further concentration in the hands of a few large farms.
MEPs also called on the Commission to come up with a proposal to ban the force-feeding of ducks and geese for the production of foie gras.