The EU Commission wants to gradually end the caging of farm animals such as laying hens and pigs.
In response to a European citizens’ initiative, the authority announced a corresponding legislative proposal by 2023 on Wednesday.
An ordinary pig farm: legalized torture of living beings …
This means that citizens’ requests could become a reality nine years after the initiative was launched.
Brussels now wants to first prepare an impact assessment by the end of 2022.
There should be a public consultation on this from the beginning of next year at the latest.
Brussels will “examine in particular whether the proposed legislation is realistic in 2027,” said the authority.
As EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, the EU also wants to push for animal welfare standards to be anchored in trade agreements. This is also intended to prevent foreign producers from undermining these standards and thus unfairly competing with EU farmers after they have withdrawn from cage farming.
However, it is still unclear how long the possible transition phases will be.
Activists had collected nearly 1.4 million signatures with the “End the Cage Age” campaign by October last year.
In doing so, they received enough support within the framework of a European citizens’ initiative that the EU Commission had to deal with the matter.
Money for remodeling stables
The EU Commission announced that it would use the EU agricultural policy to help farmers abolish cage farming.
“The phasing out of cages will come at a cost for farmers,” said Kyriakides.
The Commission will not let them down, “but support them in all phases of the transition to better animal welfare and sustainable food systems”.
Funds from EU agricultural policy are to be used to support farmers in converting stables or purchasing new housing systems.
The consumer organization “Foodwatch” called the abolition of cages overdue and called for a faster process. “Every day on which we do not act is a day on which a million sows cannot look after their piglets and chickens and rabbits cannot move as they need”, explained Foodwatch representative Matthias Wolfschmidt.
The animal welfare organization “Four Paws” spoke of “a great victory for Europe’s livestock”.
However, as usual, the Commission can only submit proposals. The specific regulation must then be negotiated with the member states and the European Parliament.
A concrete draft is to be submitted in 2023 and then requires the approval of the EU Parliament and the EU Council
When it comes to cage management, there is likely to be strong resistance from some Member States, or at least calls for long transition periods.
And I mean…According to the citizens’ initiative, far more than 8.2 million animals still live in cages in Germany. This corresponds to a share of 14 percent of livestock in Germany.
This means that Germany is pretty well within the EU average.
Only in Austria (3 percent), Luxembourg (3) and Sweden (8) is the proportion lower. It looks worst in Portugal (89), Spain (89) and Malta (99).
Across Europe, according to the initiative, more than 300 million animals are suffering in cages.
Image: SOKO Tierschutz
Copa-Cogeca welcomed the aid and accompanying measures proposed by Brussels for farmers.
The association emphasized that the ban proposed by the Commission could only be accepted if the proposal was based on clear economic principles.
In addition, an impact assessment must be available before the exit date is set. In other words, one can assume that farmers can in principle live with an end to cage management.
But they will be compensated dearly for the exit and will insist that the EU apply the same strict standards to imports.
We cannot speak of a victory before the end of cage husbandry comes as soon as possible, and also the end of the import of caged animal products.
We still have to watch closely what happens now so that the agricultural lobby does not overturn the project. Because they would have enough time for that, 6 years!
If you really want animals to be released from their cages, you have to stop eating their bodies and their products.
My best regards to all, Venus