February 22, 2010
UC Santa Barbara Hatches New Cage-Free Egg Program
University of California, Santa Barbara has hatched a new cage-free egg program for its residential dining services. The Humane Society of the United States applauds UCSB for ending its use of eggs from hens confined in tiny battery cages that provide each bird less space than a sheet of paper to spend her entire life.
Effective February 22, all eggs that residential dining services serves its students will be cage-free.
"By switching their residential dining services to exclusively cage-free eggs, UC Santa Barbara has taken an important stand against one of the most inhumane factory farming abuses," said Karin Olsson, outreach manager of The HSUS' factory farming campaign. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds UCSB and hopes other schools will follow its positive lead.
UCSB joins hundreds of schools—including San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, Stanford and dozens more in California alone—in switching away from battery cage eggs in its cafeterias.
"Residential Dining Services is proud to provide cage-free eggs to our student residents here at UC Santa Barbara," stated Bonnie Crouse, UC Santa Barbara assistant director of dining.
In a landslide 2008 vote, nearly 64 percent of California voters passed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, phasing out battery cages. And last fall, Michigan's governor signed similar legislation.
- U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren battery cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
- 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.
- Many national restaurant chains—including Burger King, Red Robin, Wendy's, Quiznos, Denny's, Hardee's and Carl's Jr.— have also implemented policies either reducing or eliminating their use of battery cage eggs. And retailers such as Safeway, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Winn-Dixie and Trader Joe's have enacted similar polices.
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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.