Fearless Feat in Brazil

After more than two years of pressure, Walmart Brazil will no longer sell eggs from caged hens.

On May 13, billboards near Walmart Brazil’s headquarters in Barueri turned heads with graphic images showing the suffering of hens at the company’s supplier farms. The same day, poster ads calling out Walmart lined Paulista Avenue in São Paulo. Just one week later, the company announced a commitment to eliminating eggs from caged hens in all Walmart stores in Brazil.

The impact for hens will be widespread and enormous. Walmart is the third-largest retailer in the country, operating 471 stores across 18 states.

We estimate that as many as 2.8 million birds will be impacted each year once the policy is implemented.

The Mercy For Animals ad campaign in May represents the tipping point of a hard-fought initiative. Two years of organized action—and the support of all of you—led to this point.

After launching the effort in 2016, Mercy For Animals activists in Brazil hosted more than 13 demonstrations; delivered 130,000 petition signatures; coordinated huge tweetstorms; ran other billboards in strategic locations; and organized online actions centered on popular events, like the World Cup and Big Brother, Brazil’s hit TV reality competition.

Mercy For Animals, along with a Brazilian partner organization, also negotiated extensively with Walmart executives.

The commitment also follows a Mercy For Animals investigation into a Walmart supplier that revealed birds trapped in sharp cage wire or under feed troughs, trampled by their cagemates, and unable to reach food and water. These animals never escaped the stench of excrement and rotting corpses of other hens.

Walmart joins the growing number of companies taking a stand against this suffering.

Grupo Habib’s, Carrefour, Forno de Minas, Bunge, and Panco are among more than 100 food brands in Brazil that have made similar commitments. We estimate that more than 12.5 million animals will be impacted by policy commitments obtained by Mercy For Animals in 2018 and 2019 once the policies have been fully implemented.

The impact of ending the worst animal abuse around the world reaches far beyond the animals trapped at factory farms; it also cracks the foundation of industries that exploit animals. We believe this will help create a better market for plant- and cell-based foods, bringing us closer to a day that is not only free of cages but free of slaughterhouses.