Cage-free: 88% of commitments fulfilled

Chicken in cages
© nikkytok – Shutterstock

88% of all the companies that committed themselves to no longer using cages in the rearing of laying hens by 2021 have achieved their goal. The Open Wing Alliance (OWA), which the Albert Schweitzer Foundation is also a part of, reported on this in a recent publication.

More than 2,300 companies with a cage-free commitment

In total, more than 2,300 companies worldwide have published such a commitment. In all cases, this was preceded by dialogs and/or campaigns of one or more of the 80 animal protection groups of the Open Wing Alliance.

Various political developments may have also had an influence on the companies to publish commitments: so far, ten states in the US have passed laws that prohibit battery cages. Also, last year, the European Parliament, with an overwhelming majority, requested that the European Commission prohibit the caging of so-called livestock in the entire EU by 2027. The Commission is aiming to draft a corresponding legislative proposal by the end of 2023.

As the OWA shows in its report, the number of cage-free companies is continually on the rise. It is highly probable that this number will continue to grow fast as most commitments state the year of 2025 as the deadline for their transition. Hence, that year will be »a huge milestone towards securing a cage-free future for laying hens (…)«, the report says.

Withdrawal from the use of cages in all industries

The report furthermore shows that cage-free commitments are being implemented in all industries. For example, 92% of the manufacturers who had committed themselves to going cage-free by 2021 have reached this goal. For restaurants, this percentage lies at 88%, for retailers at 90%, for food service/catering at 76%, and for producers at 86%.

Cage-free is the future

Alexandria Beck, director of the Open Wing Alliance, believes »cage-free« to be the new standard: »Our data shows that the future is cage-free—with more than 11% of the global hen flock already free from cages.« This share will increase significantly by 2025. Companies that have not yet decided to change their policy in this regard will have to ask themselves how their current state of denial can be part of that future.

You can find out more about the cage-free commitment here.

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