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Animal welfare initiatives

9 ONG attaquent en justice l’Etat qui maintient les poules en cages

By February 10th 2022February 23rd, 2022No Comments

Document type : Press release from the LFDA

Author : LFDA

Preview: Today, right in the midst of the French presidential campaign, 9 NGOs (Alliance Anticorrida, Animal Cross, CIWF France, L214, the LFDA, the OABA, One Voice, La SPA and Welfarm) will be filing a joint petition to the French Conseil d'Etat against the Decree issued in December 2021 which limits the application of the 2018 ban on all new or refurbished buildings for hens kept in cages. Through this decree (produced with great reluctance), the government has made the ban applicable only to buildings where production capacity is increased, allowing the complete refurbishment of existing buildings. This runs directly counter to the promises made by the French President the beginning of his electoral term and to the direction set by the European Commission: it stubbornly preserves the French production capacity for eggs from caged hens.

Five years as President...
In his presidential campaign of 2017, Emmanuel Macron committed himself to "banning the sale of eggs produced by battery hens by 2022".
Once elected President, in his Rungis speech, he repeated this commitment and promised that "eggs sold to consumers would come only from free-range farms by 2022".
In 2018, in the first Egalim Law, almost every amendment intended to ban this farming system was swept aside. Only the ban on new or refurbished buildings for caged hens remained. What was more, this small step could not be implemented as the French Ministry of Agriculture issued no decree setting out the practical details.
On 27 May 2021, following legal action by CIWF with the support of the 8 NGOs, the Conseil d'Etat required the government to publish a decree to regulate the redevelopment of caged hen farms before 28 November 2021.
On 15 December 2021, the watered-down decree implementing Article L.214-11 of the Rural Code was finally published.

... and this is all the government has to show?  
The Decree specifies that "the following constitute the refurbishment of a building:
- work on or alteration of an existing building to adapt its use to the rearing of caged laying hens;
- work on or alteration of an existing building leading to an increase in the number of laying hens that can be reared in cages therein."
In other words, the definition of a "refurbished" building is a restrictive one that effectively limits the ban to buildings where production capacity is increased. It remains possible to refurbish existing buildings.

9 NGOs are calling on the President of the Republic not to betray his own commitments
This decree, produced with extreme reluctance, is both unacceptable and incomprehensible.
9 French NGOs from the coalition that won a historic victory for the 'End the Cage Age' European citizens' initiative are now filing a joint petition with the French Conseil d'Etat. 

This decree fails to comply with the repeated commitments made by the French President
The decree fails to comply with the legal will of the French parliament.  The 9 NGOs criticise this decree, saying that it violates the letter of the law adopted in November 2018 by restricting its scope.
The decree runs counter to the wishes of 90% of the French population. People across Europe are also against these farming systems from a bygone age: 1.4 million of them have signed the citizens' initiative to end cage farming.
Last, this decree runs counter to the direction set by the European Commission, which has listened to its citizens and plans to introduce regulations by 2023 to bring a gradual end to cage farming (by 2027).

Was the French President's announcement of an end to cage farming for hens a false promise? 5 years on from the promises of his previous campaign, as he prepares to set out once again on the campaign trail and as France begins its Presidency of the European Council, President Emmanuel Macron is not leading the way in the European Union on the issue of cages. We call on the French President, both current and future, to bring an end to the State's inertia over the issue of caged laying hens.

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From the LFDA website