May 9, 2012
WSPA applauds Tim Hortons, Canada's largest quick service restaurant chain, for announcing it will source pork from suppliers who are phasing out gestation crates. They say they will also purchase at least 10 percent of their eggs from farms that keep hens in enriched cage systems.
WSPA also encourages Tim Hortons to commit to using cage-free (free-run or free-range) eggs before their upcoming Annual Meeting tomorrow (May 10). "We commend Tim Hortons for recognizing that pigs should have the freedom to move around and express natural behaviours and ask them to extend those same freedoms to egg laying hens," says Melissa Matlow, Campaigns Manager, Humane and Sustainable Agriculture.
WSPA is calling for a nation-wide phase-out of the cages and crates that are used to confine the majority of pregnant sows, egg laying hens and veal calves in Canada. These are considered the cruellest forms of intensive confinement and cause immense animal suffering according to WSPA's new report, What's On Your Plate: The Hidden Costs of Industrial Animal Agriculture in Canada.
"The most restrictive production systems should be phased out," write two of North America's leading animal welfare scientists, Dr. Ian Duncan and Dr. Bernard Rollin. "All other systems should ensure that animals can live free from intense frustration, fear, discomfort, deprivation, maternal separation, social stress and boredom." This is one of many recommendations put forward in WSPA's report, the first comprehensive study of the impacts of industrial animal agriculture on animal welfare, the environment, public health and rural communities in Canada.
While enriched cages are a significant improvement on conventional battery cages, they still greatly restrict the hens' ability to run, fly, perch and dustbathe. Denying hens the opportunity to fully exercise can lead to frustration, bone weakness and osteoporosis. WSPA believes that the solution lies in well managed cage-free systems where hens can roam, nest and perch.
"Governments and food companies around the world are encouraging more cage-free egg production. We want Tim Hortons to be a leader in this growing trend towards more humane and sustainable food." says Matlow. Burger King has committed to sourcing 100 percent cage-free eggs and Loblaw has committed to using only cage-free eggs for its PC brand.blog comments powered by Disqus