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February 18, 2010

Wal-Mart: Private Label Eggs All Cage-Free

HSUS Withdraws Shareholder Proposal

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has confirmed that all of its private label (aka "Great Value") eggs are cage-free, prompting The Humane Society of the United States to withdraw a shareholder resolution it submitted to Wal-Mart last November calling on the company to disclose its progress moving toward cage-free eggs.

With 30 percent of the food retail market, Wal-Mart is the nation's largest grocery chain.

"By ensuring that all of its private label eggs are cage-free, Wal-Mart is helping the egg industry move away from battery cage confinement of laying hens," said Paul Shapiro, senior director of The HSUS' factory farming campaign. "Wal-Mart's move is a positive one, and we hope its competitors follow suit."

Many supermarket chains have taken steps to increase their sales of cage-free eggs, including Harris Teeter, Winn-Dixie, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Safeway. National restaurant chains—including Burger King, Wendy's, Denny's, Red Robin, Quiznos, Sonic, Hardee's and Carl's Jr.—have also started using cage-free eggs.

Facts

  • In a landslide 2008 vote, nearly 64 percent of California voters passed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, criminalizing battery cage confinement of egg-laying hens statewide (with a phase-out). And in 2009, Michigan's governor signed legislation that similarly phases out battery cages.
  • 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.

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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.

 

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