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September 27, 2010

The Humane Society of the United States to Become Bravo Brio Shareholder in Effort to Curb Cruelty in Company’s Supply Chain

The Humane Society of the United States announced that it will become a Bravo Brio Restaurant Group [NASDAQ: BBRG (Proposed)] stockholder once shares of the company, which recently filed for IPO, become available.

The HSUS will use its shareholder position to encourage the Columbus, Ohio-based company to make the same type of animal welfare improvements that dozens of other restaurant chains have made, such as moving toward cage-free eggs and pork from suppliers that don’t use gestation crates to confine pregnant sows.  

In June, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio Farm Bureau announced their support a phase-out of gestation crates statewide and a moratorium on the construction of any new battery cage egg operations.  Numerous states have passed legislation in recent years to outlaw extreme confinement of farm animals.

“Americans care about farm animals and don’t want them stuffed into tiny cages and crates to languish for months or years on end,” said Karen Minton, Ohio state director for The HSUS. “Bravo Brio should join the growing list of companies moving away from extreme farm animal confinement.”  

Food manufacturers like Pepperidge Farm and Sara Lee are 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/or gestation crate-free pork; and supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Costco and Safeway have increased their cage-free egg sales.

BBRG, with annual sales of more than $300 million, operates 80 BRAVO! Cucina Italiana and BRIO Tuscan Grille restaurants nationwide.

Facts

  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. 70 percent of U.S. breeding sows are confined to gestation crates so small, the animals can’t even turn around. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
  • 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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