Farmed animals need to walk, run, fly and peck, stretch, flap their wings and roll in the dust. Yet millions of them spend their lives confined in tiny cages, unable to carry out these natural behaviours. 

OneKind is calling on the Scottish Government to ban cruel cages, such as enriched cages for egg-laying hens and farrowing crates for sows.

Read our 'Emotional Beings' report

What is the problem with cages?

Forced into cramped cages and crates, these farmed animals are unable to live a life worth living.

Egg-laying hens

While the conventional battery cage system is banned in Europe, around 2 million hens in Scotland are kept in enriched cages for their entire lives. These cages confine each hen to an area little more than the size of an A4 piece of paper. Hens kept in these cages have their natural behaviours extremely limited as they cannot run, fly or even experience fresh air and sunlight.

Farm animal assurance schemes often have higher standards than the basic legislation and enriched cages are either banned or phased out under the vast majority of these.


A pregnant pig will be placed in a farrowing crate a week before her due date and she will remain there with her piglets until they are weaned at around 3-4 weeks. The aim of the crate is to reduce piglet mortality by preventing the sow from accidentally crushing them.  The cages, therefore, severely restrict movement and pigs placed in them cannot walk, turn around or move if their piglets bite them while feeding.

The lack of, or inadequate provision of, materials such as straw or peat also stops sows from fulfilling their strong nest-building instincts and this causes stress.

End the Cage Age

Alongside our Ban Farmed Animal Cages campaign, we supported Compassion in World Farming's Europeans Citizen Initiative (ECI) calling on the European Commission to ban cages for all farmed animals and end the cage age in the European Union.

The ECI was a huge success. The European Commission has committed to phase out the use of cages for farmed animals!

Our progress to Ban Farmed Animal Cages

OneKind has long campaigned for better conditions for Scotland’s caged farmed animals.

Our recent highlights include:

  • The European Commission's commitment to phase out the use of cages for farmed animals.
  • Releasing our report “Emotional beings- Why farmed animal welfare matters in a Good Food Nation” to raise awareness of famed animals as sentient, individual beings as opposed to “units of production”.
  • Supporting Compassion in World Farming’s #EndCageAge campaign and the European Citizens’ Initiative to #EndTheCageAge.
  • Protesting in Edinburgh city centre in dog cages to highlight the suffering of farmed animals confined to cages.

All of our campaign work relies on the generosity of compassionate supporters, determined to end cruelty to animals. You can help OneKind continue working to improve the lives of all animals by making a donation today.

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