EU Votes to Phase Out Industrial Farming

This is a big win for European farm animals.

Jun 24, 2021
EU Votes to Phase Out Industrial Farming | This is a big win for European farm animals.

When most people think about animal farms, they envision a small family run operation with a red barn and happy cows in the pasture. While family farms make up 95 percent of all farms in Europe, they range from small subsistence ones to larger operations according to Eurostat.

These large farms are known as industrial or intensive farming, and this includes animal farms. Many of the practices of these large factory farms have come under considerable criticism for their treatment of animals. Now the EU Parliament has taken notice and is calling on legislation for phasing out of caged animal farming by 2027, reported Euro News.

This ban would also apply to the cruel force feeding of ducks and geese to fatten their livers for foie gras which is considered a delicacy in France.

The End the Cage Age drive for the ban was started by a European Citizens' Initiative in September 2018 and almost 1.4 million signatures in 18 member states was collected in support of the compassionate treatment of animals. One of the people leading the petition drive is Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU, told Euro News that some animals never leave their cages during their entire life.

"We have estimated, and this is a very conservative number, that over 300 million animals, farmed animals, spend most of their life or their entire life in cages in Europe, every year," Kikou said.

The parliament said that there are "grave concerns" about the conditions of these animals who do not have a space to stand on, fully turn around in, or lay down in these cages.

Right now, the EU's standards are one of the world's toughest and already include some restrictions on caged farming according to Reuters. These include a ban on tightly packed battery cages for hens while still allowing cages that provide more space. Austria and Luxembourg have already banned cages for chickens. Unfortunately, 90 percent of all farmed rabbits are housed in small cages.

The parliament said that part of the legislation must include ways to financially support farmers to help them make the switch to higher animal welfare standards. They also said that all animal products that are imported into the EU must also comply with the new standards. This is a big win for animal activists and farm animals alike.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.