500,000 citizens of the European Union have signed the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) “End the Cage Age” launched in September last year. This marks the halfway point in the campaign. Slow Food is among 140 organizations strongly involved in supporting the ECI, which aims to end the use of cages for farm animals across the continent.
Over 300 million pigs, hens, rabbits, ducks, and quail are imprisoned in cages across the EU. Most cages are barren, cramped, and deny the animals space to move freely. If successful, the ECI will bring about a seismic shift in our food and farming system, with the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of farm animals each year in Europe, by sparing them from a life of suffering. This would be a monumental step on the path towards ending factory farming.
Slow Food, like many of the organizations involved, believes that caging animals is cruel: animals are sentient beings, capable of feeling pain and joy. Caged animals endure immense suffering because they have no control over their lives, experience extreme frustration, have their movement severely restricted, and are prevented from performing almost all natural behavior.
Initiated by leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming, the ECI “End the Cage Age” is the single biggest and most collaborative animal welfare campaign to be launched.
Over the last five months, the campaign has held events throughout the EU, obtained media coverage in international newspapers, and pushed social media actions that have brought nearly 100,000 signatures on board in the last month alone. The campaign has been endorsed by several high-profile celebrities such as actors Pamela Anderson and Ricky Gervais.
This Europe-wide petition will run until September, with the ambitious goal to end the use of cages across the continent. During the period of one year, a minimum of one million verified signatures must be collected from EU citizens.
To support the ECI “End the Cage Age” please click here
Together, united, we have the opportunity to rid Europe of these cages.