Yesterday was an historical day for the 700 million farmed animals that are yearly suffering in cages in Europe. During the EC press conference, European Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced that the European Commission will phase out of cages for farmed animals across Europe.
This decision comes as a result of the arduous work of animal welfare NGOs, activists and committed politicians who backed the #EndTheCageAge citizens’ initiative. Last year, the initiative, led by Compassion in World Farming, made also history by achieving 1.4 million signatures to support the ban of caged animal farming in the 27 countries of the EU.
SOS Animals Colombia and its partners recognise the importance of this political commitment. There is enough evidence that cages affect animals’ welfare, they thwart their natural instincts and make them prone to diseases. Early this year, the Animal Welfare Intergroup of the European Parliament held an event where high- level experts explained the horrible health conditions of caged animals. Access the conference here.
The EC recognition of the detrimental effect of cages for animals’ health and wellbeing is certainly a victory for animal advocates. ‘The end-goal is crystal clear: a cage-free environment, for millions of animals’, Commissioner Kyriakides said yesterday. She also mentioned that by banning caged farming, Europe is becoming a global leading actor and trading partners will also need to comply with European animal welfare standards.
In Colombia, millions of animals are also suffering confinement during their entire lives. The use of battery cages for hens, veal crates and sow stalls is still allowed in the country, and the conditions animals are farmed can be extreme since inside the cages temperature can reach over 40ºC in some areas.
To tackle this situation, Colombian animal welfare NGOs have been calling on companies and industries over the past years to adopt better farming practices and choose products that take into account animal welfare. They have achieved the support of more than 30 well-known food chains and companies across the country which are now purchasing only free-range eggs.
However, more needs to be done in terms of national legislation to ensure higher welfare standards for farmed animals in Colombia. No doubt with this new commitment of the EC, Europe will be paving the way for a world free of cruelty towards the billions of farmed animals that are kept in cages all around the globe.
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