#EndTheCageAge – NGOs, MEPs and EU citizens unite to celebrate success of the European Citizens Initiative #ECI

| October 8, 2019

Today (8 October) NGOs, MEPs and EU citizens came together in Brussels – the heart of the EU – to celebrate the end of a historic European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) and send a strong and clear message to the EU Commission and the Council of the EU.

Compassion in World Farming and representatives of other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were joined by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and EU Citizens to celebrate the closing of the End the Cage Age ECI, which gained 1,617,405 signatures, making history for farm animals.

The event took place at the heart of the EU area in Brussels, at the esplanade located opposite Schuman roundabout and between the EU Council and EU Commission buildings. Ode to the Pig, an eye-catching 10-metre sculpture of a pig jumping to freedom was on display, while videos and speeches were shown on two screens within the eyeline of the EU Commission and EU Council buildings. Additionally, an 18-metre circular banner with the message “For animals, end caged farming”, was placed in the middle of Schuman roundabout, visible from all surrounding buildings and pedestrians on the roundabout. Attendees shared photos and stories on social media using #EndTheCageAge communicating messages of celebration, determination and hope.

NGO representatives delivered passionate speeches on the significance of this ECI for farm animals and EU citizens, as well as on the extraordinary collaborative effort of over 170 NGOs. “We did it! All of us came together, as friends, as comrades, as animal advocates. And you know what – we beat the system – we got the continent standing up, to say no to cages.

“A year ago, we were contemplating taking on a challenge; an ECI to end cages for farm animals. This is no short order, since most ECIs in the past have failed,” said Philip Lymbery, CEO at Compassion in World Farming. “The hard work doesn’t stop here – now we must make this ECI count, through advocacy work and legislation.”

Martina Stephany, director for farm animals and nutrition at Four Paws, said: “This ECI has shown that European citizens care a lot about what is happening in the livestock industry. They stand with organisations from different countries and backgrounds, unified behind the goal to End the Cage Age. We will make sure that their voice will be heard. Today this movement made history, but we will not rest until we reach our goal and cages are banned all over Europe.”

MEPs continued by stressing the importance of the End the Cage Age ECI and how its result dictates to the EU Institutions that the time for immediate action has come.

Eleonora Evi, MEP, vice president of the Animal Welfare Intergroup and co-chairwoman of the Cage-Free Working Group, said: “Today we’re celebrating a record-breaking achievement. Over 1.6 million citizens from all over Europe have said loud and clear: We want animals out of cages now! Together with other MEPs, we will make sure that the European Commission stops ignoring the demands of its citizens, and that it bans cages in farming.”

“The EU claims to have the highest animal welfare standards in the world, but still locks up animals in cages. Hundreds of millions of farm animals in the EU suffer daily, unable to express their natural behaviour”, said Anja Hazekamp, MEP, president of the Animal Welfare Intergroup and co-chairwoman of the Cage-Free Working Group. “It’s high time the EU entered the 21st century. The torture of these innocent, sentient beings must end, once and for all.”

One of the most emotive aspects of the day was the moment Angelina Berlingò, an Italian citizen, delivered her speech representing more than 1.6 million EU Citizens. She campaigned for the ECI and single-handedly collected more than 2,000 digital and paper signatures. “It’s been a great personal journey to be part of the campaign’s general success”, said Angelina. “The result of this petition brings hope for a better world for both human and non-human animals. I’m here today to shout once again: End the Cage Age!”

More about the End the Cage Age ECI

The End the Cage Age ECI closed on 11 September, 2019, having gained over 1.6 million signatures during a 12-month period. This marks one of the most significant days for farm animals that the world has ever seen.

The aim of the End the Cage Age ECI is to end the use of cages for farm animals across Europe. Over 300 million pigs, hens, rabbits, ducks, quail and calves are imprisoned in cages across the EU. Most cages are barren, cramped, and deny the animals space to move freely or express their natural behaviours. Cages are cruel and completely unnecessary.

End the Cage Age ECI has been a collaborative effort, where Compassion in World Farming joined forces with 170 NGOs from across Europe. Environmental, consumer rights and animal protection groups formed a broad-based coalition to rally citizens from every corner of the continent. This is the first time in history that this number of European organisations has come together for farm animals.


Facebook comments

Tags: , , ,

Category: A Frontpage, Animal welfare, EU, European Citizens' Initiative, European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), European Commission

Comments are closed.

Left Menu Icon