TORONTO, March 18, 2016 /CNW/ - World Animal Protection congratulates the grocery members of the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) for their industry changing commitment to source only eggs from cage-free hens by 2025. The RCC grocery division includes members such as Sobeys, Loblaw, and Wal-Mart Canada and represents more than 90% of grocery store sales in Canada.
"The RCC's commitment will have a transformative effect on the way that laying hens are housed in Canada," says World Animal Protection Canada's Executive Director Josey Kitson, "Since 2012 we have been actively campaigning for consumers and businesses to choose cage-free eggs. And as members of the RCC and Canada's National Farm Animal Care Council we are proud of this commitment and believe it will mark the end of cages for laying hens in Canada."
Right now, the vast majority of the 28 million Canadian laying hens are kept in conventional battery cages where each hen lives in a space smaller than an iPad and has little room to stretch her wings or move around freely. Enriched or furnished cages offer more space, about the size of a postcard for each bird, an area for egg laying and some perch space. In typical cage-free barns, hens are able to express some natural behaviours like laying eggs in a nest box and perching.
In February of this year, the Egg Farmers of Canada announced that they will phase out battery cages in Canada by 2036. While the Egg Farmers will allow producers to choose between enriched cages and cage-free housing systems, it is clear that the future of egg production in Canada is cage-free.
"We know that Canadian consumers are concerned about the welfare of the animals that produce their meat, dairy and eggs and that enriched cages do not address those concerns, continues Kitson. "The Retail Council of Canada's commitment, along with previous announcements from A&W, McDonalds, Tim Hortons and others provides clear direction to producers that enriched cages are a bad investment."
About World Animal Protection:
World Animal Protection, formerly known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), is active in more than 50 countries. From our offices around the world, we work with businesses, governments, local partners and animal welfare organizations to find practical ways to prevent animal suffering worldwide. www.worldanimalprotection.ca
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SOURCE World Animal Protection
Image with caption: "Egg-laying hens in a Canadian cage-free barn. © World Animal Protection/i.c.productions (CNW Group/World Animal Protection)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160318_C7169_PHOTO_EN_646394.jpg
For further information: and interviews with spokespeople please contact Beth Sharpe, firstname.lastname@example.org, T: 1 416 369 0044, M: 1 647 268 8122