Sow in farrowing crate Image Compassion in World Farming

Sir,

In a welcome move, the European Commission recently announced it plans to ‘End the Cage Age’ for all farmed animals, committing to introduce legislation to phase out caged production systems.

Yet, every year across the UK, millions of farmed animals suffer in cages where they are unable to express their natural behaviours.

The Commission has also indicated that it will look to ban the import of food produced in caged systems. As a result, inaction may also prevent trade with our nearest and largest export market and could ultimately damage the entire British farming industry.

Caged, industrial-scale farming is cruel, unnecessary, and clearly doesn’t make good business sense as consumer appetite for meat, eggs and dairy produced to higher welfare standards is increasing.

Unless the UK Government acts now, our animal welfare standards here will fall significantly behind those of the EU.

I am the lead signatory on a petition, launched this month, that calls on the Government to ban the use of all cages for farmed animals – because a life in a cage is no life at all.

The UK Government has dithered for too long, while our European neighbours are leading the charge in a move towards more humane farming systems.

How much more scientific evidence is needed for the UK Government to do the right thing?

It’s time for action. It’s time to End the Cage Age!

Deborah Meaden
Compassion in World Farming
Godalming, Surrey