Cages of laying hens

Dr Jane Goodall calls on EU to end cage farming across Europe

The letter to the European Commission is signed by more than 140 international scientists


23 February 2021 - The international "End the Cage Age" campaign, supported by the global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, has been calling for an end to the caging of 300 million farm animals at the European level since 2018. 1.4 million signatures were handed over to the EU Commission for this European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) in October 2020. Today, February 23, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will be handed a letter of support from 140 renowned international scientists urging the EU to comply with this request. Prominent support comes from the ethnologist and conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, Dame Commander of the British Empire, UN Messenger of Peace and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute. The global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS as well as 170 other European NGOs stand united behind the demand initiated by CWIF (Compassion in World Farming) for an end to the outdated and cruel caging of animals within the EU.

Despite the EU's recognition of animals as sentient beings, over 300 million pigs, chickens, ducks, quail and rabbits live in cages in the European Union. However, scientific research has long shown that this type of husbandry is associated with severe disadvantages for the welfare of the animals. Their natural behavior is restricted or even made impossible. The fact that these methods are agonizing and long outdated is also seen by Dr Jane Goodall, who vehemently advocates an end to caging. A clear need for action lies on the part of the European Commission she believes.: "We have kept hens rescued from factory farms - each had a distinct personality, all showed emotions such as pleasure and fear. A growing body of scientific research supports this, and there can be no doubt that life crammed into a small cage is causing great suffering. The EU needs to take action on behalf of the millions of animals treated in this cruel manner."

"The EU must come up with substantial legislative proposals to end cage farming in the EU and the suffering of hundreds of millions of animals in Europe. Agricultural systems must adapt to the physical and mental needs of animals, not the other way around. We are proud to have Dr Jane Goodall and all the other scientists on board who support this idea as well as 1.4 million EU citizens, dozens of members of the European Parliament, as well as FOUR PAWS and 170 other European NGOs."

Pierre Sultana, Director of the EPO (European Policy Office) of FOUR PAWS stresses this appeal

FOUR PAWS acts in Brussels

In addition to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the letter was also addressed to EU Vice Commission President Frans Timmermann and the two EU Commissioners Stella Kyriakides and Janusz Wojciechowski. 

More information on the End the Cage Age campaign can be found here.

Laying hens in cages

End the cage age!

Countless animals in Europe have to spend their lives in cages

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Michael Kellner

Michael Kellner

PR International Officer

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+43 (0) 664 504 38 97

VIER PFOTEN International 
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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