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EU campaigners collect a million signatures in bid to end battery farming

Currently, battery farming — where animals are housed in cages — is partially legal in the EU. There exist bans on several specific kinds of practice, but no blanket law that forbids it as a whole

SINEAD BARRY: ‘According to CIWF, more than 700 million farm animals in Europe are imprisoned in cages every year… Campaigners have collected a million signatures in their bid to put an end to battery farming. They have amassed support from across the continent behind a European Citizens’ Initiative, which is a way of raising an issue before the European Commission. When one million signatures are obtained, instigators of the petition are allowed to present their case at the European Parliament. They are also entitled to an official response from the European Commission, setting out what action it will take.

This is a huge victory. It is the largest win for farm animal welfare, ever,” said Emma Slawinski, director of Campaigns for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). “We are phenomenally proud of this collaborative effort.” In their eight-month campaign, CIWF joined forces with more than 170 environmentalist and animal rights organisations. Currently, battery farming — where animals are housed in cages — is partially legal in the EU. There exist bans on several specific kinds of practice, but no blanket law that forbids it as a whole…

The number of caged animals varies widely from country to country and even from animal to animal. Rabbits are the animal most affected by cage farming with 99% of farmed rabbits confined to cages. Surprisingly, almost 90% of farmed pigs in the EU are imprisoned in cages, a figure at odds with many of our intuitions about pig farming. Out of all EU countries, Sweden has the lowest rates of cage-farming, The country has an outright ban on confining sows and rabbits to cages.

“Of all the terrible contraptions used to control animals, the cage is one of the worst,” said CIWF France spokesperson Leopoldine Charbonneaux. “It is high time we evolved past such cruelty and put a stop to the primitive and barbaric practice of keeping farm animals behind bars – a life spent in a cage is no life at all”.’  SOURCE…

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