March 22, 2010
The SUBWAY® Restaurant Chain Phasing in Cage-Free Eggs
New policy coincides with national expansion of breakfast menu
The SUBWAY® restaurant chain, with more than 32,000 locations worldwide and more U.S. restaurants than any other quick-service restaurant chain, will begin phasing in the use of cage-free eggs.
The move coincides with the national launch of the SUBWAY® chain's breakfast menu.
"Subway's new animal welfare policy will help improve conditions for animals within its supply chain and throughout the nation," stated Matthew Prescott, corporate outreach director for The Humane Society of the United States' factory farming campaign. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds Subway for beginning to phase out its use of eggs from hens confined in cages."
As part of its new animal welfare policy, the SUBWAY® chain will ensure that, to start, 4 percent of the eggs used for its breakfast menu nationwide do not come from hens crammed into battery cages. The brand plans to switch 100 percent of its eggs to cage-free and has already done so in the United Kingdom.
The SUBWAY® brand's new policy also includes giving purchasing preference to pork and poultry suppliers that use more humane methods of housing and slaughter, respectively. Currently, the SUBWAY® brand uses a significant amount of pork from suppliers that are phasing out the use of gestation crates to confine breeding pigs, and more than 5 percent of its turkey comes from suppliers that use "controlled-atmosphere killing," which has been shown to dramatically reduce the suffering of birds during slaughter.
Michele DiNello, director of corporate communication for the SUBWAY® brand, said, "We have made a commitment to be more environmentally and socially responsible. We are working with our partners at The Humane Society of the United States and our franchisee-owned Independent Purchasing Cooperative, which sources products and negotiates pricing contracts for SUBWAY® franchisees to take the steps needed to do this. There is much work to be done, but we are committed to conducting business in a manner consistent with accepted social practices."
Denny's, Burger King, Wendy's, Quiznos, Sonic, IHOP, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, and Red Robin have created similar animal welfare policies, and the extreme confinement of certain farm animals in cages and crates is outlawed in seven U.S. states.
- About 95 percent of egg-laying hens and 70 percent of breeding sows in the U.S. are cruelly confined in cages and crates so small the animals can barely move for their entire lives.
- Seven states, including Michigan and California, have passed laws to phase out the extreme confinement of certain farm animals.
- 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.