What's New ? - 2021

What's New ? - 2021

EU: Commission to propose phasing out of cages for farm animals

1 July, 2021

The European Commission decided to positively respond to the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) “End the Cage Age”, supported by over 1 million citizens across the EU. In its reply, the Commission sets out plans for a legislative proposal by 2023 to prohibit cages for a number of farm animals. The proposal will come as part of the ongoing revision of the animal welfare legislation under the Farm to Fork Strategy.
While all farm animals benefit from current legislation on the protection of animals, only laying hens, broilers, sows and calves are covered by rules on caging. In its response to the ECI, the Commission commits to table, by the end of 2023, a legislative proposal to phase out, and finally prohibit, the use of cage systems for all animals mentioned in the Initiative.
In particular, the Commission's proposal will concern:
- Animals already covered by legislation: laying hens, sows and calves; - Other animals mentioned in the ECI: rabbits, pullets, layer breeders, broiler breeders, quail, ducks and geese. For these animals, the Commission has already asked EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) to complement the existing scientific evidence to determine the conditions needed for the prohibition of cages.
Since an end of the use of cages will require changes to current farming systems, the Commission will consider the socio-economic and environmental implications of the measures to be taken and the benefits to animal welfare in an impact assessment to be completed before the end of 2022. In this context, a public consultation will be carried out at the latest by early 2022. The Commission will assess the feasibility of working towards the proposed legislation entering into force from 2027.