All cages for farmed animals will be banned by the European Commission.


 The European Union is working on a plan to phase out the practice of growing farm animals in cages, a significant move that is unlikely to occur anytime soon but would be a significant success for animal rights campaigners.

In a statement released Wednesday, Stella Kyriakides, the European Union's commissioner for health and food safety, stated, "Animals are sentient beings, and we have a moral, societal responsibility to guarantee that on-farm circumstances for animals reflect this." 

The European Union has some of the tightest animal welfare laws in the world, including a ban on overcrowding battery cages, which are commonly used in the United States to house egg-laying hens.

However, in recent years, demands to outlaw cages entirely have gained ground.

Some farmers are apprehensive about the possible cost of making the move since they would have to completely redesign their operations.

A European Citizens' Initiative petition calling for a ban on caged farming collected 1.4 million signatures from 18 nations throughout the EU over the past year, making leaders legally obligated to address the matter.

Last month, the European Parliament passed a nonbinding resolution in favor of a ban, and the European Commission backed it up on Wednesday.

Animals such as chickens, rabbits, quails, ducks, and geese would be freed from cages under the "End the Cage Age" petition.

Activists also demanded rules prohibiting the use of enclosed stalls, pens, and crates for larger animals like pigs and cows in locations where such constructions are not already prohibited.

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