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January 7, 2010

HSUS Shareholder Resolution Calls on Kroger to Reduce Cruelty to Chickens

Thursday, The Humane Society of the United States filed a shareholder resolution urging The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) to ensure that all of its private label eggs will be cage-free.  

"Hens confined in battery cages for Kroger have less space per bird than a sheet of paper on which to spend their entire lives," stated Matthew Prescott, corporate outreach director for the factory farming campaign at The HSUS. "Kroger can catch up to its competition and get closer in line with public opposition to battery cage confinement by converting all of its private label egg cartons to cage-free."

As The HSUS's shareholder resolution points out, all private-label Costco eggs are cage-free. Many other supermarket chains have taken steps to increase proportion of cage-free eggs, including Harris Teeter, Winn-Dixie, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Safeway. National restaurant chains—including Burger King, Red Robin, Wendy's, Quiznos, Denny's, Hardee's and Carl's Jr.—have also started using cage-free eggs.

California and Michigan recently passed laws to phase out battery cages statewide.

A HSUS representative will present the resolution at Kroger's 2010 shareholder meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Facts:

  • Most egg-laying hens in the United States are confined in tiny battery cages so small they can barely move. An abundance of scientific research confirms that such confinement is detrimental to birds' welfare, and that cage-free systems offer significant improvements.
  • 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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