The European Commission will go in for legislation for a complete caged farming ban. The announcement on Wednesday comes after a petition by citizens’ demanding a ban has garnered over a million signatures.
The European Commission said that it will propose legislation by 2023 that will eventually lead to a caged farming ban covering all animals under the citizens’ proposal that would go into effect feasibly by 2027.
The list of animals that could come under the caged farming ban include ducks, geese, quails, rabbits, and young hens. The caged farming ban at present covers sows, calves, and laying hens. But furnished cages are permitted for hens, in place of the battery cages that are more tightly packed. The controlled phase-out would take into account the diverse needs of every species.
Individual Countries Support Must Enforce The Caged Farming Ban
To enforce the ban, the European Parliament along with the 27 governments under the EU must agree to the legislation. It is up to the individual countries to enforce the ban. The EU is currently studying the animal welfare legislation of the bloc.
The Parliament has also requested the European Commission to go in for a prohibition on the cruel practice of force-feeding geese and ducks that leads to the fattening of the birds’ liver. It produces foie gras, which is a popular delicacy in France.
The welfare standards of animals are already among the highest in the world. The battery cages, mostly tightly packed, are used to keep and transport hens and were banned in 2012. They were replaced by furnished cages which have greater space and even have perching spots. All cages for hens have been already banned in Luxembourg and Austria. Other countries are expected to follow soon.
Stella Kyriakides, the health commissioner of the European Union said that the move to make changes in the condition that animals are kept is an ‘ethical, social, and economic imperative.’
But even then 90% of the European Union’s farmed rabbits continue to be kept in cages. Even as recently as 2019, 50% of laying hens continued to be kept in cages. The Union has also stressed that farmers should be given adequate finances to go for better standards for keeping animals. The EU said imports from outside the Union would also have to comply with the stringent rules.