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January 21, 2009

Bruegger's Bakery-Café Expands Cage-Free Egg Commitment

The Humane Society of the United States

Bruegger's Bakery-Café has instituted a new policy for its Washington-area bakeries — a move that's drawing praise from The Humane Society of the United States as a good step in improving animal welfare. Effective Jan. 1, Bruegger's is using only cage-free eggs at all five of its bakeries in the District of Columbia and Virginia.

This move is an expansion of Bruegger's work with The HSUS, which began in 2007 when the company instituted the cage-free egg policy in its Wisconsin, Vermont and Western Massachusetts locations. The HSUS' campaign against farm animal cruelty is urging businesses, schools and consumers to stop using eggs from hens cruelly confined in tiny "battery" cages where they can barely move for their entire lives.

"The Humane Society of the United States is pleased that Bruegger's is moving away from using eggs from caged hens, which helps reduce the suffering of farm animals," said Paul Shapiro, senior director of The HSUS' factory farming campaign.

Bruegger's Vice President of Marketing Paula Doyle stated, "Bruegger's corporate philosophy of social responsibility is underscored by our work with The Humane Society of the United States; therefore, we are pleased to expand our cage-free egg initiative to Bruegger's D.C. area bakeries."

Washington restaurants like The Reef, Open City, The Diner and Tryst refuse to use eggs from caged hens, and several universities in the District, including Georgetown, Gallaudet and American, use cage-free eggs in their cafeterias.

Facts

  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren battery cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Each bird has less space than a single sheet of paper on which to live for more than a year before she's slaughtered.
  • While cage-free doesn't mean cruelty-free, cage-free hens have 250-300 percent more space and can engage in more of their natural behaviors than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they are able to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests.
  • In a landslide vote last Election Day, Californians enacted the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act — a new law making it a criminal offense (with a phase-out period) to confine hens in battery cages, pigs in gestation crates and calves in veal crates. Florida, Arizona, Colorado and Oregon have passed similar laws.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the web at humanesociety.org.
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