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newsThe CoR supports the European Citizens' Initiative against the practice of rearing animals in cages

The rapporteur of the European Committee of the Regions' opinions on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and on Agro-ecology, Guillaume Cros​, took part in a public hearing in the European Parliament to discuss the European Citizens’ Initiative "End the Cage Age", where he reiterated the CoR position against the practice of rearing birds and animals in cages, according to the CoR opinion 'Reform of the CAP' adopted in 2018.

​​​The " End the Cage Age " initiative was presented on Thursday 15 April in the European Parliament by a group of welfare animal organizations. In 2019 the initiative reached the minimum threshold of 1 million signatures required to present the initiative to the European Parliament and to oblige the European Commission to discuss action on the issue.

Guillaume Cros (FR/The Greens), Vice-president of the Occitania region and rapporteur of the CoR opinion 'Reform of the CAP' and 'Agro-ecology' (adopted by the CoR in March 2021) stated that: "The European Committee of the Regions has made a stand in favour of bringing the practice of caged animal farming across Europe to an end. The negative externalities of industrialised animal production on the environment, climate and health, can no longer be ignored. There are alternatives and the new CAP must promote them" .

During his intervention, Guillaume Cros showed his support to the citizens' initiative and ensured that "the ban on cage breeding will help reduce the concentration of animal production in certain regions and maintain and develop extensive and human-sized breeding in other areas" . He also proposed make the labelling of the farming method "clear and compulsory, covering the animal's cycle, including transport, to allow producers to recognize the improvement in their practices and consumers to choose products that comply with their requirements".

In December 2018, the European Committee of the Regions committed to "moving to more extensive modes of production which avoid the use of cages" by 2027 "in order to respond to animal welfare but also public health concerns", in the opinion on the 'Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy'.

Guillaume Cros already showed his support to the organisers of the European Citizens' Initiative "End the Cage Age" in 2019, when they reached 1 million signatures.

The practice of rearing animals and birds in cages is widely used in Europe. Every year over 300 million farm animals are kept in cages across the European Union. According to the organisation 'Compassion in World Farming' , 94% of people in Europe believe protecting the welfare of farm animals is important, and 82% believe farm animals should be better protected.

Berta López Domènech
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