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May 14, 2010

UCLA Hatches New Cage-Free Egg Program

UCLA has hatched a new cage-free egg program for its residential dining services. The Humane Society of the United States applauds UCLA 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 Sunday, all 1.5 million eggs that residential dining services serves will be cage-free.

"The Humane Society of the United States commends UCLA Dining Services' switch to exclusively cage-free eggs, which improves animal welfare, sustainability and food safety," said Josh Balk, outreach director for the Humane Society of the United States' factory farming campaign.

UCLA joins hundreds of schools—including UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University and dozens more in California alone—in switching away from cage eggs in its dining halls and facilities.

"We're thrilled with switching to exclusively use cage-free eggs," said Daryl Ansel, UCLA's director of food and beverage. "This new policy fits perfectly with our campus's strong support for animal welfare and sustainability."

In a landslide 2008 vote, nearly 64 percent of California voters passed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, phasing out cages for laying hens. And last fall, Michigan's governor signed similar legislation into law.

Facts:

  • 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, 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 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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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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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