Consumers Urged to Choose the Taste of Guilt-Free Eggs
TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - In recognition of the scale and intensity of the animal welfare issues presented by caged egg production, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) today announced the launch of its new "Choose Cage-Free" campaign in the U.S. and Canada. The campaign will educate consumers about the disturbing plight of egg-laying hens, and encourage them to buy cage-free eggs.
"Keeping hens in cages is one of the cruelest and most inhumane practices in modern farming," said Josey Kitson, Executive Director, WSPA Canada. "The suffering is so vast. Over 300 million hens live in small, barren cages but every single day, people can make the simple choice to help these animals. Buying cage-free eggs supports better hen health and welfare, and provides safer, more wholesome eggs for consumers."
Ninety-five percent of egg-laying hens in Canada live their entire lives in small cages that they share with five or six other birds. These chickens – intelligent, social animals – cannot spread their wings or even turn around. The extraordinary level of stress they experience on a daily basis, along with their deplorable living conditions and large flock size, suppresses their immune systems and makes them highly vulnerable to infections and bacteria, including Salmonella. Eggs produced from cage-free hens have a lower risk of Salmonella contamination.
Despite some media attention on this issue in the past year, a recent study conducted on behalf of WSPA by a third-party firm, The NPD Group Inc., found that consumers are drastically underestimating the number of caged-hens producing their eggs. This study also found that 70% of Canadians believe that to be treated humanely, a hen should be able to stretch her wings and move around – something she is not able to do in a cage.
"Whenever we buy eggs at the grocery store or order them at a restaurant, we're making a choice about the kind of food we want to eat and the kind of world we want to live in," said Kitson. "If we can let consumers know how much better cage-free eggs are for hens and for people, we know more of them will make the right choice."
According to that same survey, over 50 percent of consumers' purchases are influenced by lower food safety risks – an important consideration given the lower risk of Salmonella contamination associated with cage-free eggs. In addition, nearly 50 percent of egg buyers would purchase a different brand if they discovered the product was made from animals that suffered.
About The World Society for the Protection of Animals
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is one of the world's leading animal welfare organizations. For more than 30 years, it has exposed and opposed the suffering of animals in the wild, in our communities, in disasters and on farms. Today, working with governments, NGOs and local communities in more than 50 countries, WSPA continues to work passionately, responsibly and sustainably to change animals' lives for the better. The organization also acts at a global level, using its United Nations consultative status to give animals a voice. For more information, please visit www.wspa.ca.
 The NPG Group study found that in Canada, consumers believe that 71% of their eggs come from hens kept in cages. The actual number is closer to 95%.
SOURCE: World Society for the Protection of Animals
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Maureen Dempsey, +1-917-650-5053, email@example.com