The European Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution demanding a ban on the use of cages in animal agriculture by 2027.
1. The petition
A vote was called in response to a petition called “End the Cage Age,” which has been signed by 1.4 million EU citizens and demands the phasing out of cages on farms.The resolution passed overwhelmingly with 558 votes in favor, 37 against and 85 abstentions. Parliament’s decision now increases pressure on the European Commission, which is expected to officially respond to the petition on June 30th.
“It is a question of striking the right balance.”— EP Audiovisual (@europarlAV) June 10, 2021
🗣️@EP_Agriculture Chair, @LinsNorbert, speaking on the European Citizens’ Initiative, #EndTheCageAge, which calls for the gradual end of the use of cages in farming animals🐄🐐🐖
DOWNLOAD extract📽️📸➡️https://t.co/cp6HHYnGZM pic.twitter.com/Y5SicTnZmy
2. Reactions and statements
German MEP and European People’s Party member Norbert Lins said during the Parliament plenary that it was a question of striking “the right balance” between animal welfare and the impact on farmers and competitiveness, and described 2027 as a “possible date.” Meanwhile EU Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides told MEPs that the Commission is considering a request contained within the resolution which asks to apply the exact same animal welfare standards to meat imported from outside the EU as is applied to European farmers within the bloc. She also noted the request for farmers to be compensated and supported in the changes they make away from caged farming. “The Commission is looking at these requests, taking into account the need for a science-based approach and the EU’s obligation under the WTO (World Trade Organization),” she said. “Our rules need to change and that is a very clear call from our citizens.” During the debate Kyriakides did not explicitly mention a date but said the phase-out of caged farming would happen “as soon as feasible.”