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News Section Icon Published 10/2/2020

Today marks one of the most significant days for farmed animals that the world has ever seen 

On October 2nd, World Day for Farmed Animals, the European Commission received the End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). Signed by 1.4 million people across Europe, the ECI calls on the European Union to put an end to the use of cruel cage confinement in animal farming.

The End the Cage Age ECI launched on September 11, 2018 and closed exactly a year later, having gained over 1.6 million signatures. Following the required signature validation period, the ECI easily exceeded the required threshold of one million signatures, with a total of 1,397,113 validated signatures across Europe. This makes the End the Cage Age ECI the: 

  • 6th ECI to succeed among 75 registered initiatives in the last eight years; 
  • 3rd highest ECI signature count; and 
  • 1st successful ECI on farmed animal welfare. 

“Today’s hand-in of the End the Cage Age ECI is the culmination of a great effort by 1.4 million European citizens who came together to call on the EU to end the cruelty of confining farmed animals in cages” says Olga Kikou, our Head of EU. “The massive public backing for the Initiative confirms the overwhelming level of interest EU citizens have in animal welfare. Now, the EU Commission must listen and come forward with substantive legislative proposals to phase out the use of cages in EU animal farming.” 

This making of history for farmed animals was truly a collaborative effort, with our EU colleagues at Compassion joining forces with 170 environmental, consumer rights and animal protection organizations from across Europe. Together, the coalition rallied every corner of the European continent. 

Today’s success could not have been achieved without the support of 1.4 million people across Europe who stood up for farmed animals and demanded change. We would like to thank them for their support, dedication and compassion! 

Sean Gifford, our Global Director of Campaigns says: “Today, we have crossed a finish line in the biggest political push in farmed animal welfare history. We are phenomenally proud of this collaborative victory. We stand together with 1.4 million citizens and we will not stop until the EU Commission frees all farmed animals kept behind bars. A life in a cage is no life at all.” 

In the meantime, we’ll keep up the fight right alongside them until we end cruel cage confinement in the US, as well.