England: Caged Conditions We Found in the EU Were Nothing Short of Hellish. Ban the Cage Age Now.

WAV Comment – Stick the EU Commissioners and ‘Euro’ politicians into sow cages in Spain, being confined in a cage shut into a shed, suffering conditions and temperatures as they currently have, 44 degrees; lying in their own excrement unable to even turn round;  then load them onto a livestock trailer and haul them across Europe, defecating and urinating all over each other for days;



Do you expect all mother pigs farmed in countries which claim to be world leaders in animal welfare to be able to move freely and express their natural behaviours? To be free from pain and suffering?

Nothing could be further from the truth. We went undercover on pig farms across four EU countries, including suppliers for world-renowned products like Parma and Bayonne Ham. The caged conditions we found were nothing short of hellish.

This new investigation is yet more strong evidence that there is poor welfare in a cage and no animal should be imprisoned behind bars.

Please take action today and call on EU Ministers to End the Cage Age.

In 2019, we exposed the grim reality for thousands of sows in the UK who were forced to give birth and rear their young in farrowing crates. Today’s findings show this same suffering endured by animals across Europe. And, in the EU, many sows are also trapped in cramped stalls for four weeks of pregnancy.

Last year, the European Commission committed to introduce legislation to phase out caged farming. But they’ve been lobbied hard by opponents of a ban, and the support of all EU member states is vital if we really are to free over 300 million animals from cages. Britain is no longer in the EU, but suffering knows no boundaries so we must urge Ministers across the continent to End the Cage Age.

Ending caged farming in the EU is also crucial to set a precedent for other parts of the world. Not least for the UK, where the Government has promised action but so far not even launched consultations on cages for sows and hens.

Please speak out today to help lead the EU, and the world, out of the Cage Age.

It’s bad enough that, trapped in a space little bigger than their own bodies, caged sows can barely move. But our investigation also exposed other appalling suffering mother pigs can endure in cages. We saw:
Sows forced to lie in their own urine and faeces
Sows performing abnormal behaviours such as repetitively biting the cage bars and chewing without food in their mouth
Painful and preventable injuries
Sows unable to interact normally with their piglets

The European Union is closer than ever to becoming the first cage-free region if the Commission’s legislative proposal is implemented. Every year, hundreds of millions of animals – sows, hens, rabbits, calves, quail, ducks, and geese – could have better lives. But we must act now to defeat the powerful factory farm lobbyists who don’t want to End the Cage Age.

Please email the EU Ministers today. Together, we can achieve a world in which no farmed animal will suffer in a cage.

On behalf of the 300 million caged animals across the European Union you are giving voice to, thank you.

Mandy Carter

Global Head of Campaigns


Every year, caged farming systems cause needless suffering to around 300 million animals in the EU. From sows kept in stalls or crates so small they cannot even turn around, to rabbits unable to perform a single hop, caged animals are forced to endure cruel confinement in a system that does not respect their natural, behavioural needs.

There is no doubt that cages are cruel. An abundance of robust scientific evidence supports this fact and, as a result, over 140 influential scientists backed the End the Cage Age European Citizens Initiative (ECI). Compassion in World Farming’s recent undercover investigation* is yet more shocking evidence that caged farming cannot meet the welfare needs of sentient beings.

As you know, on 30th June 2021, the European Commission pledged to present a legislative proposal by 2023 to phase out cages progressively and definitively throughout the EU, possibly commencing in 2027.† This came as a response to the largest-ever ECI for animals, which collected a record 1.4 million certified signatures and was supported by more than 170 animal, environmental and consumer protection organisations. 

As a resident of the UK, I welcome the Commission’s historic decision, and am pleased that the EU is closer than ever to becoming the world’s first cage-free region for farmed animals. I urge you to support this commitment to phase out cages, and to set an example for the UK Government and governments globally. The cruelty of caged farming cannot continue.

Regards Mark


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