Photo: ©Otwarte Klatki / Andrew Skowron

One million EU citizens have signed the #EndTheCageAge European Citizens Initiative (ECI) petition, the biggest ever political push for farm animal welfare.

The #EndTheCageAge ECI, which aims to end the use of cages for farm animals across the continent, was launched in September 2018 by Compassion In World Farming in partnership with Eurogroup for Animals and more than 170 other animal welfare and environmental organisations across the EU.

The campaign has held events throughout the EU, obtained media coverage in international newspapers, and offered a simple way for all EU citizens to set up individual pages encouraging others to add their name to the cause. Now, after just eight months, we mark the collection of more than one million signatures to abolish the use of cages in livestock farming —a first in the history of farm animal welfare.

“We have built the largest coalition in the name of farm animal welfare, and are hugely proud of this collaborative effort,” says Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals. “But the fight to get farm animals out of cages isn’t over yet. One million signatures is a phenomenal milestone, but we need to keep collecting signatures to ensure the European Commission understands just how important this matter is to citizens.”

Like all ECIs, #EndTheCageAge will undergo a checking procedure where the Commission verifies that each signature is from a real person. Not all signatures will be considered valid, so the campaign could still fail if we don’t collect at least 1,300,000 signatures by September 2019.

“EU citizens have just over three months left to give their support to  this groundbreaking initiative,” says Elena Nalon, Senior Veterinary Adviser at Eurogroup for Animals. “Should we continue to collect signatures as we have done over the last eight months, we are going to send an overwhelming message to the Commission: no farmed animal should be confined to a cage ever again”

Over 300 million sows, hens, calves, rabbits, ducks and quail in the EU can still be kept in completely unnecessary cages, sometimes for their entire lives. These are typically barren, often overcrowded, and deny the animals space to move freely. The ECI will bring about a seismic shift in our food and farming system, with the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of farm animals a year in Europe by sparing them enormous suffering. This would be a monumental step on the path towards ending factory farming.

“Of all the terrible contraptions used to control animals, the cage is one of the worst, and perhaps the most symbolic. It is high time we evolved past such outdated systems and put a stop to the primitive practice of keeping farm animals behind bars. A life spent in a cage is no life at all: we have the collective knowledge to go beyond that,” adds Elena Nalon.

To sign the #EndtheCageAge ECI and make sure it gets another 300,000 signature to ensure success, please visit


Elise Fleury, Campaign Officer,
Tel: +32 (0)2 740 0892

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