Nearly all rabbits, hens, pigs or quails spend their entire life cramped in breeding cages. A European citizens initiative to improve their living conditions was launched in September and was supported by several NGOs in the Czech Republic.
The initiative intends to collect at least one million signatures from at least seven EU member states over the next twelve months in order to oblige the European Commission to deal with the issue and table legislative measures.
The petition is also supported by two Czech MEPs: Jiri Pospisil (European People’s Party), who is also a member of the working group engaged in ending the use of the cage age, and Pavel Poc (Socialists & Democrats), a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.
In the Czech Republic, the initiative’s campaign started in early October in Prague. The Czech representatives of the CIWF hope the initiative can collect 50,000 signatures in the country.
“Life in the cage is no life. Science has already proved that all livestock are sensitive and susceptible beings able to suffer and experience joy,” said Romana Sonkova, the Czech representative of the CIWF. “The Eurobarometer survey has recently revealed that 94% of people in the EU believes it is important to protect the welfare of farmed animals. Moreover, 82% of people think livestock should be better protected,” she added.
In the Czech Republic, 88% of hens are caged. Since 2012, European rules state that breeders have to use cages that are more spacious.