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December 2, 2010

Brandeis University Hatches New Cage-Free Egg Policy

The Humane Society of the United States is applauding Brandeis University for switching all eggs used on campus to cage-free. The new policy takes effect in fall semester 2011.

With this initiative, Brandeis is 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.

“By not using eggs from caged hens, Brandeis has taken an important stand against one of the cruelest factory farming abuses,” said Josh Balk, outreach director of The HSUS’ factory farming campaign.

Brandeis joins hundreds of schools across the country that that have moved away from confining hens in cages, including University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Yale and Princeton.

“Brandeis University was thrilled to work with students on this important issue,” stated Aaron Bennos, Director of Brandeis University Dining Services. “It is important for us to listen to student feedback and help implement changes that are deemed important to the campus community. We were able to provide the details to The Real Food Coalition on campus who worked with Student Government and University Administration to implement this change."

Seth Grande, a Brandeis student who worked with dining services on developing its cage-free egg policy, stated, “The student body is excited by the news that Brandeis is switching to exclusively cage-free eggs. The confinement of hens in cages is too cruel for any university to support.”

Michigan and California have passed laws to outlaw cage confinement of hens, and Ohio’s governor announced his support for a moratorium on the construction of any new cage layer facilities. Additionally, California enacted a law requiring that all whole eggs sold statewide be cage-free by 2015.

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 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.
  • Simply by switching to cage-free housing systems, the egg industry may be able to halve the risk of Salmonella for the American public, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
  • 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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