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December 1, 2009

Bill Maher to IHOP: Cut the Cruel Cages

In a new video filmed exclusively for The Humane Society of the United States, television host and comedian Bill Maher urges restaurant giant IHOP to start switching to cage-free eggs.

"You may come hungry to IHOP, but you shouldn't leave happy. Not as long as they only use eggs from hens crammed into tiny cages where they can barely move an inch," states Maher, alongside graphic footage of cruelty to chickens from inside the factory farms of IHOP's primary egg supplier. "Stuck in these cages, the hens can't even spread their wings. Forget pancakes, IHOP now stands for the International House of Pain."

The video is the latest action in The HSUS' national campaign targeting IHOP's exclusive use of eggs from hens confined in battery cages—barren wire enclosures so tiny, the birds can barely move.

The HSUS is urging IHOP to start switching to cage-free eggs—a modest step that Denny's, Burger King, Wendy's and many other competitors of the 1,400-location breakfast chain have already taken.

"Despite a national movement away from confining hens in tiny cages and overwhelming public opposition to this abuse, IHOP has made no meaningful movement whatsoever," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "IHOP should stop lagging behind its competitors and begin switching to cage-free eggs."

A recent undercover exposé of IHOP's primary egg supplier, Michael Foods, revealed shocking abuses, including decomposing corpses in the same cages as live birds, dead and living birds stuck in cage wires, and sick and injured hens in cages with other hens. These abuses are similar to those uncovered during a 2006 HSUS exposé of the same company.

To view the video, visit http://bit.ly/8gMST0.

For more information about the IHOP campaign, visit humanesociety.org/IHOP.

Facts:

  • An abundance of scientific research confirms that battery cages are cruel and threaten food safety.
  • With last November's landslide passage of the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, IHOP's home state of California criminalized battery cages, effective 2015. Last month, Michigan passed legislation to phase out battery cages.
  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren battery cages so cramped, they can't even spread their wings. Each bird has less space than a sheet of paper for her entire life.
  • 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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Follow The HSUS on Twitter.

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.

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