The European Parliament has voted in favour of ending caged animal farming.
The landmark victory saw a staggering 558 votes in favour of the ban, with only 37 opposing the ban and 85 abstaining.
The vote came in response to a petition which demanded a phase-out of cages in animal agriculture. The petition, titled “End The Cage Age”, was signed by an overwhelming 1.4 million EU citizens.
The EP Committee Members are now calling on the European Commission to phase out caged farming, with 2027 being a possible date.
Furthermore, the Commission was also asked to propose a ban on barbaric force-feeding of ducks and geese, which is done to fatten the birds’ liver for foie gras.
“Our rules need to change”
The European Commissioner for Health and Food Saftey Stella Kyriakides explained: “Acting to improve the welfare of animals is an ethical, social, and economic imperative.
“Our rules need to change and that is a very clear call from our citizens.”
For the proposed ban to be passed, the European Commission would need to put forward the request, which would then need approval from EU member states and the Parliament.
Moreover, EU animal welfare has already passed some regulations on how animals are caged.
So-called ‘furnished’ cages that provide perches and more space for animals are currently standard practice following the banning of ‘barren’ battery cages.
Despite these regulations, more than 90% of the EU’s farmed rabbits are housed in cages, and in 2019 half of laying hens were kept in cages.
How intensive animal farming impacts humans
Undoubtedly, we are all aware of the unethical practices that intensive animal farming inflicts on the animals themselves. It is very easy to turn a blind eye to these situations, following the notion of ‘what we don’t know won’t hurt us’.
Unfortunately, this statement is no longer true.
Intensive farming has not only been proven to be a cause for the climate crisis, but there is also an overwhelming amount of evidence that intensive animal agriculture is linked to widespread diseases.
The inhumane conditions and close proximity the animals are kept in leads to cross-contamination, resulting in a breeding ground for new infections and diseases.
Although this information can leave us feeling hopeless, there is still so much we can do. Switching to a plant-based diet and reducing our intake of meat and dairy will only positively contribute to the change in animal agriculture.
With greater knowledge and support for this lifestyle change, we can ensure we are taking the right steps to combat the climate crisis and ending animal suffering.
Are you a feminist who drinks dairy? This is why you need to quit.