Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has called upon Ministers to introduce tough animal welfare legislation

Several local residents have contacted Toby as they believe that caged systems are cruel and unnecessary. They state that every year, 16 million animals are confined in cages across the UK, despite a wealth of robust scientific evidence to demonstrate the suffering caused by ‘enriched’ cages for laying hens and farrowing crates for sows.

Residents have pointed out that other countries are already moving away from caged systems, and the European Commission recently stated it aims to introduce legislation that could End the Cage Age across the EU from 2027.

Toby said “The previous Labour Government published a Code of Practice in March 2010 that would have led to the removal of battery cages and the introduction of minimum cage sizes in order to ensure the welfare of game birds. These regulations were consulted on widely and endorsed by animal welfare groups as well as the British Association for Shooting and Conservation. I am disappointed that successive Conservative-led Governments have decided not to introduce this Code and instead chose to introduce a different, less stringent code that allows the use of so-called ‘enriched’ cages to house game birds and does not include any minimum requirements on cage sizes”.

He added “I know that animal welfare groups including Animal Aid, the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA have expressed concern that the Code does not go far enough and evidence produced by the League Against Cruel Sports shows some distressing examples of continuing low animal welfare standards in the breeding of pheasants and partridges. Many of my constituents have contacted me about end caged farming of animals. DEFRA’s recent Action Plan for Animal Welfare identifies that the use of crates and cages needs addressing. I have reassured local residents that I will look favourably upon any measures which reinforce compassionate practices in farming if the government bring them before the House of Commons”.

Toby Perkins MP
Toby Perkins MP
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