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End the Cage Age  
​​​Guillaume Cros reiterates the CoR's call to phase out the cage rearing of animals and birds
The European Committee of the Region's (CoR) rapporteur on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy congratulates animal welfare activists for passing the 1-million mark for their European Citizens Initiative "End the Cage Age". ​

With this week's heat wave having badly affected caged animals, animal welfare activists have hit the streets to collect more signatures for the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) initiative " End the Cage Age ". More than 1 million citizens have already signed the ECI, which obliges the European Commission to discuss action on the issue and gives the organisers the right to present their initiative in a public hearing at the European Parliament.

The European Committee of the Regions committed to ending the practice of rearing birds and animals in cages throughout Europe in its opinion 'Reform of the CAP ' adopted by CoR members during the plenary session in December 2018.

Guillaume Cros (FR/PES), Vice-president of the Occitania region and rapporteur on the CoR opinion 'Reform of the CAP ' said: " I am delighted about the success of the citizen's initiative "End the Cage Age". The current situation of caged animal farming has to end with no further delay. The latest incident in Middelharnis, Holland, where hundreds of pigs died slowly of the heat when a ventilator failed and the animals were unable to escape their cages confirms that this is a serious threat to animal welfare and to public health."

The practice of rearing animals and birds in cages is widely used in so-called intensive animal farming units across Europe. Every year over 300 million farm animals - including hens, rabbits, pigs, quail, ducks and geese – are kept in tiny, barren cages across the European Union. Regular incidents where thousands of animals and birds perish in fires or other accidents has concentrated public attention on the subject recently. According to the organisation 'Compassion in World Farming' 94% of people in Europe believe protecting the welfare of farm animals is important, and 82% believe farm animals should be better protected.

The ECI will stop collecting signatures on September 11, ahead of a three-month signature validation process in member countries. The Commission will then have three months to discuss its response, suggesting an outcome sometime in the first half of 2020.


Carmen Schmidle 
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 2366

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