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September 28, 2010

Otis Spunkmeyer Joins National Cage-Free Egg Movement

The Humane Society of the United States applauded San Leandro, Calif.-based snack food giant Otis Spunkmeyer for joining the national movement away from eggs from caged hens. The company plans to start its conversion by phasing more than a million cage-free eggs into its products, sparing nearly 4,000 birds each year from being crammed inside tiny cages that provide each hen less space than a sheet of paper to spend her entire life.

“By pledging to use some cage-free eggs, Otis Spunkmeyer has taken an important step away from one of the worst abuses of farm animals,” said Matthew Prescott, outreach director of The HSUS’ factory farming campaign.

Otis Spunkmeyer competitors Pepperidge Farm and Sara Lee are also switching millions of eggs in their products to cage-free. Hellmann’s mayonnaise recently announced that it will convert all 350 million eggs it uses each year to cage-free. Major restaurant chains—including Subway, Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Sonic, Quiznos, Hardee’s, Red Robin and Carl's Jr.—use cage-free eggs. And supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Costco and Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway have taken steps to increase their cage-free egg sales.

California and Michigan have passed laws to ban the cage confinement of hens, and California passed a law requiring all whole eggs used in the state to be cage-free by 2015.

Facts

  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in 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, like caged hens, 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 cages.
  • Factory farming continues to be a major social issue: Oprah Winfrey dedicated an entire show to the issue, TIME magazine has written extensively on the topic, and The American Conservative ran a cover article about the abuse inherent in confining animals so tightly they can barely move called “Torture on the Farm.”

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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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