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European Union Announces Historic Ban On Cages

In a historic move driven forward by animal protection campaigners, the European Commission has committed to phasing out cages for farmed animals across the European Union (EU), with the aim of banning them completely by 2027.
June 30, 2021

On Wednesday, June 30th, the EU Commission said it would “put forward a legislative proposal by the end of 2023 to phase out and finally prohibit the use of cages for all the animal species and categories referred to in the initiative”, which includes chickens, rabbits, ducks, female pigs confined in farrowing and gestation crates, calves in the dairy industry, and other farmed animals.

In addition, the Commission will look at “introducing rules or standards for imported products that are equivalent to the EU’s”, meaning that in the future, products from other countries may have to comply with cage-free standards in order to be sold in the EU.

The formal announcement comes after the European Parliament overwhelmingly supported a ban on cages in a historic vote earlier this month and is the result of the “End The Cage Age” European Citizens’ Initiative, led by Compassion In World Farming and supported by over 170 animal protection groups, including Animal Equality. The groups helped garner 1.4 million signatures from EU citizens calling for a ban on cages, and will continue to monitor the European Commission’s progress and continue lobbying until the Commission delivers on its promise.

Cage-free is not cruelty-free. Even on cage-free farms animals typically suffer in confinement and are denied most of what’s important to them. The best way to help animals is by simply not consuming their flesh,

eggs or milk. However, banning the use of cages is a crucial step forward in the fight for ending animal exploitation. Caging animals causes some of the most extreme suffering in the farming industry.

This groundbreaking commitment from the European Commission should set a strong precedent for other countries around the world to follow. Once the ban is put in place, it will affect around 300 million animals every year who are currently trapped in cages on farms across the EU. 

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