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January 13, 2011

SUBWAY Receives 2010 Humane Society of the United States Corporate Progress Award for Cage-Free Egg Conversion

In recognition of its work to improving the lives of farm animals, quick service restaurant giant SUBWAY is among the 2010 recipients of The Humane Society of the United States’ Corporate Progress Award.  

The award recognizes companies that have made demonstrable progress in reducing animal suffering and advancing animal welfare in 2010.

“Americans don’t want farm animals confined in cages so small they can barely move,” stated Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We applaud SUBWAY’s efforts to reduce animal suffering and hope that others will follow its lead by switching to cage-free eggs.”

In 2010, SUBWAY became the first national quick service restaurant chain to commit to switching 100 percent of its eggs to cage-free. Subway has already done so in the United Kingdom. To start, four percent of the eggs used for Subway’s new breakfast menu nationwide do not come from hens crammed into battery cages.

In announcing the company’s new policy, Michele DiNello, director of corporate communication for SUBWAY, said, “We have made a commitment to be more environmentally and socially responsible. We are working with our partners at The Humane Society of the United States and our franchisee-owned Independent Purchasing Cooperative, which sources products and negotiates pricing contracts for SUBWAY franchisees to take the steps needed to do this. There is much work to be done, but we are committed to conducting business in a manner consistent with accepted social practices.”

Numerous other major restaurant companies including Burger King, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Subway, Sonic, Quiznos, Red Robin, Hardee’s and Carl's Jr.—have 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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