We need to reach 1 million signatures to save 300 million animals in Europe.
Every year, all around Europe, almost 300 million animals go through life trapped in cages. Their products – meat, eggs, milk – fill the shelves of local supermarkets, from where we take them home. We cannot turn our heads: the cage issue affects us all. It is time to say enough is enough! Since the first species were domesticated, humans have shared a strong relationship with animals, based on knowledge and respect. Unfortunately, over the years, this relationship has grown strained, because of intensive animal farming and globalization, and is now based on the complete denial of animal rights and mostly violence.
The welfare of millions of animals is highly affected nowadays.
Egg-laying hens, for example, are raised in poultry barns filled with hundreds of thousands of chickens, in battery cages preventing them from scratching about, socialising, flaping their wings… even turning around. Sows spend long periods – as many as 4 months – in gestation crates where they cannot move freely, in large pig breeding farms across several countries. Rabbits and quails spend their whole lives in battery cages. As for cattle, a few days after calves are born, they are caged in individual crates, kept away from their mothers.
According to the legislations of some European countries, cages are forbidden, yet millions of farm animals are caged their whole lives or great parts of them.
Together, we can end this system thanks to the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) End the Cage Age!
Indeed, Slow Food has been working hard to raise farmers’ awareness on animal welfare, and supports the petition that Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has initiated, demanding that the European Parliament end the current system of caged animal farming throughout the European Union.
This European campaign, which gathers over 130 European associations, has already collected over 300,000 signatures, but this is not enough: at least 1 million signatures are needed from at least 7 member states. If this figure can be reached, the Europan Commission will have three months to study the petition and respond, and decide whether or not toact on the request.
In our current system, animals pay too high a price, it is time to change the way things are. Another system of animal breeding is possible.
This is proven by the Slow Food Presidia working to implement different forms of animal breeding that respect both animal welfare standards and the planet. Animals should be living longer, be fed with healthy food, and not suffer any mutilation, and be cared for humanely.
On grazing farms, animals live outdoors for most of the year and eat grass, hay, and cereal-based supplementary food. Calves and piglets are born on the farm and are left with their mothers for longer. The fact that animals can roam freely outdoors prevents them from being agressive and thanks to this method of breeding, the huge administration of prophylactic antibiotics can be avoided. Finally, in small-sized farms, animals are slaughtered in a way that significantly limits any fear and pain suffered by the animal.