BREAKING: Nestlé Announces U.S. Cage-Free Egg Policy

Today Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, announced its commitment to phasing out inherently cruel battery cages of its U.S. supply chain by 2020. The industry-leading policy stipulates one of the most aggressive deadlines for shifting to cage-free eggs.

Nestlé’s policy is an expansion of the broader Nestlé Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare established in 2013 after a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a Nestlé dairy supplier in Wisconsin showed workers viciously kicking, beating, and stabbing cows and dragging “downed” cows by their fragile legs and necks using chains attached to tractors.

Following the release of the hidden-camera footage, Nestlé pledged to eliminate many of the cruelest forms of institutionalized animal abuse from its supply chain, including painful mutilations of dairy cattle and piglets without painkillers; use of growth promoters for poultry; and extreme confinement of pigs in gestation crates, calves in veal crates, and egg-laying hens in battery cages.

Nestlé’s farm animal welfare commitment was the first comprehensive policy of its kind and has been used as a standard for several other companies that have since implemented multi-species policies, including Starbucks, Aramark, Compass Group, and Walmart.

Recently, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Starbucks, and many chain restaurants from Taco Bell to Panera have committed to timelines for switching to cage-free eggs. Currently, more than 90 percent of factory farms in the U.S. cram egg-laying hens into cages so small birds can’t walk, spread their wings, or engage in other natural behaviors.

Nestlé’s cage-free egg commitment will reduce the suffering of hundreds of thousands of hens each year and hopefully inspire other food companies to do the same. It’s high time the rest of the food industry, including Tim Hortons and Wendy’s, acknowledged that cramming 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.