TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - On Friday, following cage-free egg commitments from Harvey's, Swiss Chalet, Tim Hortons, McDonald's, and nearly 100 other major restaurants, retailers, food manufacturers, and foodservice companies, Egg Farmers of Canada announced it would begin an industry-wide transition to cage-free egg production to be completed by 2036. The group also declared that its members would stop installing any new battery cage facilities. International farmed animal protection group Mercy For Animals, whose undercover investigations into egg farms in Canada have exposed egregious animal cruelty and neglect, recognized the industry association for its intention to go cage-free, but denounced the lengthy timeline for implementation.
The following statement is attributed to Nathan Runkle, president of MFA:
While it's commendable that Egg Farmers of Canada has finally acknowledged that packing animals into cruel cages is both unnecessary and socially unacceptable, its suggested deadline for going cage-free is simply outrageous. Cramming animals into cages so small they cannot walk or spread their wings is horrific animal cruelty that should be ended with the utmost speed and urgency.
Tim Hortons, McDonald's, Starbucks, and many other leading food providers in Canada have already committed to going cage-free in their egg supply chains a full decade earlier than Egg Farmers of Canada. If egg producers truly care about animal welfare, they shouldn't allow animals to languish in crowded, filthy cages for decades on end.
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 in the cage wire or under feed trays. Dead hens are often left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption. This is animal cruelty no company with morals should condone.
It's high time Egg Farmers of Canada stopped dragging its feet and addressed this important animal welfare issue. With cage-free commitments from nearly 100 major restaurants, retailers, food manufacturers, and foodservice companies, 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.
We encourage Egg Farmers of Canada to update its policy with an expedited timeline to phase cruel battery cages out of its egg supply chain. Such a timeline should reflect a phase-out rate more in line with both the restaurant community and consumer expectations. Further delays will only underscore the industry's inability to stay in step with the demands of conscious consumers.
To view MFA's undercover video of egg factory farms in Canada, visit: EggMcMisery.ca.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals
For further information: Krista Hiddema: 416-666-3093