Cara Foods announces new cage-free egg policy

Owner of Harvey's, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey's, and East Side Mario's Commits to Eliminating Cruel Cages for Birds, Wins High Praise from Animal Welfare Group

TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today Cara Foods, owner of popular Canadian restaurants Harvey's, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey's, and East Side Mario's, announced a commitment to improving animal welfare by switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs in its entire supply chain by 2020. Some brands will begin the shift this year. The move, which will spare countless hens a life of suffering in tiny wire battery cages, has been applauded by the international animal protection organization Mercy For Animals, which collaborated with Cara Foods to develop this policy.

Cara Foods' cage-free commitment comes on the heels of the announcement by Canadian icon Tim Hortons to go completely cage-free in its Canadian, U.S., and Mexican egg supply chains by 2025. That decision also followed discussions with Mercy For Animals.

In the last year, Starbucks, Subway, McDonald's, Wendy's, and nearly 100 other major restaurants, retailers, food manufacturers, and foodservice companies have pledged to go cage-free at the behest of conscious consumers who are increasingly concerned about animal welfare. Last year, a Food Marketing Institute report found that consumers ranked animal welfare as one of their highest priorities.

Hens used for eggs are crammed for life into tiny wire cages on factory farms. Each bird has less floor space than the size of a sheet of notebook paper. Many birds become trapped and painfully mangled in the cage wire or under feed trays. Dead hens are often left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption.

Battery cages are so cruel they've been banned by California, Michigan, and the European Union.

The following statement can be attributed to Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy For Animals:

We commend Cara Foods for joining the ranks of the nearly 100 other restaurants and retailers that have pledged to eliminate cruel cages from their egg supply chains—a move that will reduce the suffering of countless hens each year. With this announcement by Cara Foods, it's never been clearer that the days are numbered for egg factory farmers who pack birds in cages so small they can't walk, spread their wings, or engage in other natural behaviors.

"It's high time Sobeys, Metro, and Loblaws stopped dragging their feet and acknowledged that cramming birds into cages barely larger than their bodies is animal abuse that has no place in a civilized society. Any food company that has not yet adopted a cage-free egg policy is simply out of step with consumer expectations and business trends."

To learn more about MFA and its efforts to help farmed animals, visit


SOURCE Mercy For Animals Canada

For further information: Krista Hiddema, 416-666-3093

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