Will European hens be 95% cage-free by 2030?

This question is about egg-laying hens in the European Union.

For resolution, I will use data provided by the European Commission and, if needed for contextualization, the End the Cage Age campaign.

The criterion for a YES resolution is if the data allows me to estimate that strictly more than 95% of egg-laying hens are not considered caged for production purposes, excluding temporary confinement during breeding, transportation, or veterinary care. Because there may be some discretion involved in interpreting the data, I will not trade in this market.

For context, see this Metaculus question. An excerpt:

European Union (EU) legislation currently allows the use of "enriched" cages for egg-laying hens as well as alternative cage-free systems through Directive 1999/74/EC. EU statistics indicate that 50.5% of egg-laying hens in the EU are cage-free.

In July 2020, the European Commission tasked the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) with investigating the welfare of cages for laying hens to provide a sound scientific basis by December 2022 for 'future legislative decisions'. The EFSA website specifically mentions the "End the Cage Age" European Citizens’ Initiative signed by over 1 million European Union citizens calling for a ban on using confined housing in livestock farming, which includes the caging of laying hens, in the whole EU. In September 2020, the Commission put out a call for 24 month tenders for the pilot project "Best Practices for Alternative Egg Production". In August 2020, in response to parliamentary questions, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides reiterated that the EU Commission would present a working paper on the implementation of animal welfare in the European Union in early 2022 and will present appropriate legislative proposals by the end of 2023.

However, also see some qualified pessimism from Lewis Bollard.

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Oh farmer lobbies are involved. Some say Europe is largely secular, but to a good approximation, they worship the Common Agricultural Policy.

2026 version

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