Costco Wholesale—the third-largest retailer in the U.S.—has just committed to phasing cruel battery cages out of its entire egg supply chain. Currently, more than 90 percent of egg-laying hens in the U.S. spend almost their entire lives crammed into filthy wire battery cages. These enclosures are so small the birds can’t even fully spread their wings. Costco’s decision follows similar commitments by McDonald’s, Nestlé, and nearly 100 other major restaurants and foodservice providers.
“Costco is committed to going cage‐free for its egg procurement,” the company announced on its website. “We are working with our suppliers toward a complete and sustainable transition to a cage‐free supply chain.”
Following undercover investigations by Mercy For Animals into Costco meat suppliers, the company committed to ending the use of gestation crates for pigs and veal crates for baby calves. This newest decision to extend its cage-free policies to egg-laying hens wouldn’t have been possible without the concerted efforts of animal activists who tirelessly campaigned across the country.
Many consider battery cage confinement one of the cruelest factory farming practices in the world. MFA’s eight undercover investigations at egg factory farms across North America reveal why. In addition to hens packed into tiny cages, MFA’s hidden-camera footage shows severely sick and injured birds left to slowly suffer and die without proper veterinary care, and decaying dead animals in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption.
While cage-free doesn’t mean cruelty free, Costco’s commitment to eliminating battery cages from its supply chain will alleviate much of the suffering egg-laying hens are forced to endure. It’s high time the rest of the food industry, including Tim Hortons and Wendy’s, acknowledged that cramming these sensitive and intelligent birds into cages barely larger than their bodies is cruel and has no place in a civilized society.
Click here to ask Wendy’s to stop stuffing birds in cruel cages. And remember, the best way to protect chickens and all farmed animals is to leave their products off your plate. Learn more at ChooseVeg.com.