Friday, November 11, 2005

Trader Joe’s Opts to Sell Only Cage-Free Eggs

A great step and a great victory. Definitely on the right track.

Trader Joe’s ‘chickens out,’ opts to sell only cage-free

By Jennifer Heldt Powell
Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Trader Joe’s plans to free the chickens.


The grocer, under intense customer pressure organized by animal
rights activists, said it will no longer put its name on eggs laid by
chickens confined to tiny cages.


“Customers looking for cage-free eggs will need to look no further
than the Trader Joe’s label,” the company said in a statement.


It’s a great day for chickens, said Paul Shapiro, who is organizing
the anti-cage campaign for the Humane Society of the United States.


Commonly, commercial egg-laying hens are kept in cages so small they
can’t spread their wings, walk around or engage in natural behaviors such
as nesting or dust bathing, he said.


“The abuse these birds endure is so immense that no socially
responsible company should support it,” Shapiro said.


The cage-free birds can be confined inside, as long as they’re not
stuck in cages. That’s a compromise from calling for free-range birds,
which are allowed to wander in and out.


Other grocers who’ve signed on to the cage-free movement include
Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace.


Although some countries have banned the cages, the Humane Society for
now is focusing on customer pressure rather than new laws to change
practices in the United States.

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