Together with the Humane Society of the United States, Burger King – the world’s second largest fast food chain – has announced plans to eliminate the use of battery cages and gestation crates from their US food suppliers by 2017. Under the new policy, Burger King will also switch entirely to cage-free eggs for all American locations.
According to HSUS president Wayne Pacelle, this move is significant not only because “tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions,” but “because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products,” using hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork a year.
The growing public demand for sustainably and humanely raised food and “the corporate social responsibility” of companies such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and the Compass Group mark a sea change in animal welfare. The aforementioned restaurants have all announced within the last two months that they will begin utilizing more humane animal treatment methods. In spite of these advances and pressure from HSUS, some companies, such as pork producer Seaboard Corporation and restaurant chains Bob Evans, Tim Hortons, and Domino’s, continue to utilize gestation crates.
Pacelle hopes that Burger King’s announcement will help persuade Congress to pass H.R. 3798, which would ban battery cages and enable more humane options, such as colony cages, cage-free, or free-range, to proliferate.
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