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January 13, 2011

Burger King Corp. Receives 2010 Humane Society of the United States Corporate Progress Award

In recognition of its work to improve the welfare of animals in its supply chain, quick-serve restaurant giant Burger King Corp. is being honored by The Humane Society of the United States with the organization’s first ever Corporate Progress Award.

The award recognizes companies that have made demonstrable progress in helping to reduce animal suffering in the supply chain and advancing animal welfare in 2010.

“Burger King Corp. has been an industry leader in improving conditions for animals in its supply chain,” stated Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We applaud the company’s work to reduce animal suffering and hope that more companies will continue following its lead.”

BURGER KING® was the first major quick-serve restaurant chain to implement a set of animal welfare policies aimed at reducing factory farm abuses, such as the cage confinement of egg-laying hens, and has continued its progress toward better conditions for animals in its supply chain. In 2010, BKC continued decreasing its usage of eggs from caged hens by incorporating more cage-free eggs into its supply chain.

“As part of our BK® Positive Steps corporate responsibility program, BKC is committed to making responsible purchasing decisions and we are proud of our animal welfare efforts thus far,” said Diego Beamonte, vice president, supply quality assurance, Burger King Corp.

Following in Burger King Corp.’s footsteps, numerous other major restaurant companies including Wendy’s, Denny’s, Subway, Sonic, Quiznos, Hardee’s, Red Robin and Carl's Jr.—have now started to use cage-free eggs. Hellmann’s mayonnaise announced that it will convert all 350 million eggs it uses each year to cage-free. And supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Costco, and Safeway have taken steps to increase their cage-free egg sales.

Facts

  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in cages so small each bird has about as much space as a sheet of paper. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering and threatens food safety.
  • 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. 

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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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