October 25, 2010
Harry & David Joins National Cage-Free Egg Movement
The Humane Society of the United States applauded Medford, Ore.-based Harry & David for joining the national cage-free egg movement. Effective this month, the company is switching more than 150,000 eggs in its bakery and prepared food products to cage-free and has pledged to use exclusively cage-free eggs by July 2011. This move will spare 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.
"The Humane Society of the United States applauds Harry & David for improving the lives of thousands of hens each year with its cage-free egg commitment," said Kristie Middleton, corporate outreach manager for The HSUS' factory farming campaign. "By moving away from eggs from caged hens, Harry & David has taken an important stand against one of the most inhumane factory farming abuses."
Pete Kratz, executive vice president, operations for Harry & David, stated, "At Harry & David, we believe that creating a better world around us is simply the right thing to do, which is why we're proud to use cage-free eggs."
Across the country, a national movement away from using eggs from hens confined in cages has taken root: Otis Spunkmeyer and Sara Lee are switching millions of eggs in their products to cage-free; Burger King, Subway, Sonic, Wendy's, Arby’s, Denny's, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Quiznos and Golden Corral are just some of the major restaurant chains that use cage-free eggs; Wal-Mart's and Costco's private brand eggs are exclusively cage-free; and Hellmann's mayonnaise announced plans to convert the 350 million eggs it uses in the U.S. to cage-free.
Michigan and California have passed laws to outlaw cage confinement of hens, and similar legislation is pending elsewhere. California recently enacted a law that requires all whole eggs sold statewide to be cage-free by 2015.
- 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 is a major social issue: A study by food industry consultancy, Technomic, ranked animal welfare as the third-most important social issue to restaurant patrons; an American Farm Bureau-funded report found that 89 percent of Americans believe that food companies that require their suppliers to treat farm animals better are doing the right thing; and a Citigroup report found that cruelty to animals presents a “headline risk” to restaurant companies.
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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.