End The Cage Age: our conference in Rome for a Europe without cages

Simone Montuschi

Today, we were in Rome together with Animal Equality, Compassion In World Farming Italy and HSI/Europe on behalf of the Italian coalition End The Cage Age to renew the appeal to the Italian government to support the legislative ban on cages at the European level and start the transition to end cages at the national level.

Every year in Europe, more than 300 million animals including hens, sows, calves, rabbits, quails and ducks are still kept in cages for all or part of their lives. In Italy alone, there are over 40 million. Scientific evidence shows that cage confinement causes serious suffering to animals, as they are unable to move freely or satisfy their behavioural needs. Our investigations over the years have amply documented the sad life to which animals raised in cages in Italy are destined, not least on the quail farms in which the animals are exploited to produce meat and eggs.

Our conference in Rome

Prohibiting cages is possible, and for this reason we at Essere Animali, together with Animal Equality, Compassion In World Farming Italia and HSI/Europe, have organised an institutional event at the Spazio Europa managed by the Italian Office of the European Parliament in Rome, on behalf of the Italian coalition End The Cage Age.

© Essere Animali

The Honourable Eleonora Evi (Greens and Left Alliance), Senator Alessandra Maiorino (Five Star Movement) and the Honourable Michela Vittoria Brambilla (Mixed Group) also spoke in support of the campaign. During the event we presented our investigations into rabbit farms, released in May, and quail farms, released a few weeks ago.

Dramatic images showing animals imprisoned in small cages with derisory spaces at their disposal, animals not protected by any species-specific European or even national legislation. According to the latest Istat data, 16.5 million rabbits were slaughtered in 2020. As for quail, 8.5 million were slaughtered in 2021 (presumably both those for meat production and those slaughtered at the end of the egg laying cycle).

Let’s put an end to the cage age

Thanks to the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) End the Cage Age, with more than 1.4 million validated signatures, the European Commission has committed to phasing out the use of cages on European farms by 2027. With this event, we are renewing our appeal to the new Italian government to make its fundamental contribution, supporting the legislative ban on cages at the European level and initiating, through targeted economic policies, the cage-free transition also at the national level.

*In Italy, the campaign is supported by 22 organisations: Amici della Terra, Animal Aid, Animal Equality Italia, ALI – Animal Law Italia, Animalisti Italiani, CIWF Italia Onlus, Confconsumatori, ENPA, Essere Animali, HSI/Europe, Il Fatto Alimentare, Jane Goodall Institute Italia, LAC – Lega per l’Abolizione della Caccia, LAV, Legambiente, LEIDAA, LNDC Animal Protection, LUMEN, OIPA, Partito animalista, Terra Nuova and Terra! Onlus.