Leading Canadian Universities Lauded by Humane Societies for Hatching Cage-Free Plan



    VANCOUVER, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - In a landmark move, Chartwells - a division of
Compass Group Canada, the largest food service provider in the country - has
announced that Concordia University and Simon Fraser University will begin
using only cage-free shell eggs in campus food services in January 2008,
followed by the University of Ottawa in September 2008. The Vancouver Humane
Society and Humane Society International/Canada commended the decision.
    Compass Group Canada follows the lead of Compass Group USA, who announced
its cage-free shell egg policy in December, 2007.
    "Chartwells is committed to reducing our use of eggs from caged hens.
This is a first step for our company, and we're proud to be making this
significant contribution to improving the welfare of farm animals," said Ross
Munro, President of Chartwells Canada.
    Approximately 98 percent of eggs in Canada come from hens confined to
cramped, barren wire cages called "battery cages." Each hen is given less
space in which to live her life than a sheet of writing paper. The intensively
confined birds are unable to engage in many of their most important natural
behaviours such as wing stretching, walking, dust bathing, standing on solid
ground, or laying eggs in a nest. Countries including Sweden, Switzerland,
Germany and the Netherlands have all banned the use of barren cages, and the
European Union banned barren battery cages by the year 2012. Google, Amazon,
Ben and Jerry's, Whole Foods Markets and Capers Community Markets have all
dropped eggs from caged hens, and Burger King and Hardees have begun using
cage-free eggs. More than 300 schools in North America have either reduced or
eliminated eggs from caged hens including the University of Guelph, the
University of BC, Langara College and BC Institute of Technology.
    "More and more schools are choosing not to buy eggs from caged hens,"
said Bruce Passmore, Farm Animal Welfare Project Coordinator at the Vancouver
Humane Society. "We applaud Compass Group Canada and these universities for
helping reduce the suffering of animals by getting hens out of cages, and we
call on all Canadian schools to follow."
    "The movement to stop buying eggs produced in cruel battery cage
facilities is reaching a critical mass around the world," said Rebecca
Aldworth, Director of Animal Programs for Humane Society International/Canada.
"We commend Compass Group Canada and these compassionate Canadian universities
for making it clear battery cages have no place in the Canadian egg industry's
future."
    Photos and video footage available by request (chickenout.ca)





For further information:

For further information: Bruce Passmore, Vancouver Humane Society, (c)
(604) 603-5401, (o) (604) 266-9744; Rebecca Aldworth, Humane Society
International, (c) (514) 575-6797, (o) (514) 395-2914; Cindy Harris, Compass
Group Canada, (c) (647) 262-7927, (o) (905) 568-4636 x 432


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