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April 6, 2009

Radlo Foods Is First National Egg Producer to Commit to Phase Out Battery Cages

Animal Protection Groups Urge Other Egg Producers to Follow Suit

The Humane Society of the United States

Today, Radlo Foods became the first national egg producer to commit to ending its confinement of hens in battery cages. The company's announcement followed a recent Mercy For Animals investigation that exposed grossly inhumane conditions for laying hens caged at Quality Egg of New England, some of whose eggs Radlo Foods distributed. This past weekend, Radlo Foods terminated its relationship with Quality Egg of New England, where Mercy For Animals exposed laying hens confined in tiny wire cages, hens suffering broken bones and infections and employees kicking, breaking the necks of and throwing live hens away in trash cans.

According to CEO David Radlo, "We're proud to officially pledge to stop using cage confinement systems and implement a plan to become an exclusively cage-free company within 10 years."

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, stated, "Radlo Foods' commitment to phase out battery cage confinement will help raise the bar when it comes to animal welfare in the egg industry. Other egg producers should follow in the company's footsteps."

According to Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy For Animals, "Radlo Foods' move to end its reliance on battery cage confinement systems is an important sign of progress that should be heeded by the entire egg industry. The egg industry should stop defending battery cage confinement systems and proactively move away from them."

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.
  • In a landslide November vote, Californians approved 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.
  • Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests — all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into battery cages.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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.

Mercy For Animals is a national farmed animal advocacy organization that works to create a society where animals are treated with the respect and compassion they so rightly deserve. MFA is a voice for animals through proactive consumer education and advertising campaigns, research and undercover investigations, rescues and grassroots activism. MercyForAnimals.org. 

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