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January 12, 2009

HSI/Canada Congratulates Port Colborne for Going Cage-Free

Humane Society International

The city of Port Colborne, Ontario passed an important resolution to improve the lives of farm animals by mandating that all city-run facilities stop using eggs from hens stuffed into tiny cages. The Council also encouraged residents, restaurants, caterers, retailers and wholesalers to switch to certified organic free-range eggs instead of eggs from caged hens. The move drew applause from Humane Society International/Canada.

"The City of Port Colborne has demonstrated its leadership and compassion by resolving to end its use of eggs from caged hens," said Bruce Passmore, director of outreach for HSI Canada. "In doing so, it is expressing opposition to one of the cruellest production methods in animal agribusiness: cramming hens into cages so small they can barely move for their entire lives."

Port Colborne joins more than a dozen other municipalities in Canada, including Orillia, Pickering, Richmond, Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler, which have passed similar resolutions.

Approximately 98 percent of Canada's 26 million egg-laying hens are cruelly confined for their entire lives in tiny wire "battery" cages so small, they can't walk, stretch their wings, dust-bathe or nest. Countries including Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands have banned the use of barren battery cages, and the European Union's phase-out of these cages will be complete in 2012. In November, voters in California overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure that phases out battery cages for laying hens, gestation crates and veal crates for calves.

More than 350 universities and colleges in North America have reduced or eliminated their use of eggs from caged hens in campus food services, including well-known universities such as Guelph, Concordia, McGill, Simon Fraser and the University of BC.

Alternatives to eggs from caged hens include certified organic, free-range, free-run and egg replacers.

Photos and video footage of Canadian battery and free-range egg farms are available by request.

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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International — one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than ten million members and constituents globally — on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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