Today the Retail Council of Canada announced its commitment to improving animal welfare by pledging that 100 percent of eggs sold in its member stores will be cage-free by 2025. The policy affects all Retail Council of Canada grocery members, including Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys, and Walmart. The move, which will spare more than 15 million hens annually from suffering in tiny wire cages, has been applauded by the international animal protection organization Mercy For Animals, which encouraged the Retail Council of Canada to develop this important policy.
The Retail Council of Canada’s statement is the latest in a wave of cage-free egg commitments by North American grocers, including Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Food Lion, Giant, Stop & Shop, Costco, Target, CVS, Trader Joe’s, and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Additionally, nearly 100 other retailers, restaurants, foodservice companies, and food manufacturers have pledged to go cage-free in the last year.
Caged egg production is inherently cruel and widely considered one of the most egregious forms of animal abuse. Hens are stuffed into wire cages so small the birds can’t walk, fully spread their wings, or engage in other natural behaviors for nearly their entire lives. Many birds become trapped and painfully mangled in cage wire or under feed trays and often suffer and die. Dead hens are left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption. Battery cages are so patently cruel they have been banned in Alberta, California, Michigan, and the entire European Union.
This is a watershed moment for farmed animals and caring consumers in Canada. These leading grocers have taken a significant and commendable step forward in improving the lives of millions of egg-laying hens.
With these grocers’ historic announcement, it’s never been clearer that the days are numbered for companies that sell eggs from hens packed into cages so small the birds can’t walk or even fully spread their wings. This announcement represents an industry tipping point. Any food company that has not yet adopted a cage-free egg policy is simply out of step with consumer expectations and business trends.
And remember, the best way to help birds and other farmed animals is simply to leave meat, dairy, and eggs off your plate. Visit ChooseVeg.com for free recipes and tips.