McDonald's adopts cage-free egg policy following undercover videos

Following Mercy For Animals' Undercover Investigations Exposing Horrific Animal Abuse at McDonald's Egg Suppliers, Fast-Food Giant Implements North American Cage-Free Egg Policy

TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, McDonald's—one of the largest fast-food chain restaurants in the world—announced its commitment to phasing out inherently cruel battery cages from its Canada and U.S. egg supply chains. The announcement follows graphic undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals exposing horrific animal abuse at multiple McDonald's egg suppliers.

In 2013, a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation revealed shocking animal cruelty at McDonald's Canada egg suppliers. The secret videos filmed at two Alberta factory farms showed birds packed so tightly into filthy wire cages that they couldn't walk or freely spread their wings, birds mangled by factory machinery and suffering from open wounds, and decaying bodies of dead animals rotting in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption. In addition, workers were caught on camera suffocating chicks in garbage bags.

Two years prior, Mercy For Animals conducted undercover investigations at McDonald's Egg McMuffin suppliers in Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota exposing similar sickening animal cruelty. After the investigation was released, McDonald's announced it would immediately discontinue its supplier relationships with Sparboe Farms, though did not yet address phasing out the inherently cruel battery cages.

Since these two investigations, Mercy For Animals, nearly 120,000 Canadian consumers, and nearly 75,000 U.S. consumers petitioned McDonald's to phase out the inherently cruel battery cages from its supply chain. Celebrities such as Ryan Gosling, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Deschanel, and Alicia Silverstone also told McDonald's "I'm hatin' it" by penning an open letter, calling for the company to implement meaningful animal welfare improvements for egg-laying hens.

McDonald's new policy will implement a transition to a 100 percent cage-free supply chain over 10 years, sparing nearly 8 million birds each year from a life of suffering.

While the company's cage-free egg commitment marks a significant step forward for the protection of hens in North America, McDonald's has not yet extended its animal welfare policies to chickens raised for meat. Just last month, hidden-camera footage taken at a McDonald's Chicken McNugget supplier exposed birds beaten with makeshift clubs spiked with nails and chickens bred to grow so fast they frequently died from organ failure. Local law enforcement has launched a criminal animal cruelty investigation and nearly 175,000 consumers have petitioned the company to address these abuses with animal welfare reforms.

The following statement can be attributed to Nathan Runkle, president of MFA:

We applaud McDonald's for its commitment to phase out cruel cages in its North American egg supply chain. It's high time that McDonald's acknowledge that cramming animals in cages barely larger than their bodies is inhumane and unethical. With McDonald's announcement, it's never been clearer that the days are numbered for egg factory farms who pack birds in cages so small they can't walk, spread their wings, or engage in natural behaviors. McDonald's should continue this praiseworthy progress by adopting meaningful standards for chickens killed for Chicken McNuggets.

To view the undercover video at McDonald's suppliers that led to this important announcement, visit: (Canada) (U.S.).


SOURCE Mercy For Animals Canada

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

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