#Animal Welfare – #Tesco commits to 100% cage-free eggs throughout Europe by 2025

Tesco PLC announced on Friday that it will exclusively source 100% cage-free eggs throughout their central European stores covering Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland by 2025. The decision follows the retailer’s similar commitment in 2016 to source 100% cage-free eggs in the United Kingdom. Today’s announcement is the result of extensive conversations with The Humane League and Open Cages, international farm animal protection groups that represent Open Wing Alliance, a global coalition of animal protection groups worldwide launched in 2016.

Tesco is the United Kingdom’s largest retailer and one of the largest retailers in the world by revenue. The new policy will affect all shell eggs in Tesco’s European locations, covering their 1,100 stores throughout Poland,  Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia, adding to the 3,500 stores affected by the retailer’s UK commitment in 2016.

The Humane League engaged in productive, private dialogue with Tesco’s leadership to produce a firm timeline for the regional commitment. The European Union banned battery cages in 2012, however the “enriched cages” that replaced them still cram up to 13 birds/m2. In all countries affected by today’s announcement – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland – more than 80% of the laying hens are currently kept in “enriched cages.” Crammed one after another into cruel cages, most egg-laying hens are only given space about the size of an iPad in which to live their entire lives.

“As one of the largest retailers in the world, Tesco’s policy to exclusively source cage-free shell eggs to cover stores in Central Europe will reduce the suffering of millions of farm animals every year,” said Vicky Bond, Managing Director, UK at The Humane League. “We are proud to have worked with Tesco on its commitment to extend its UK policy to other European locations.“

Tesco’s cage-free announcement comes amidst The Humane League and Open Wing Alliance’s success in influencing a wave of companies worldwide to announce plans to convert exclusively to cage-free eggs in a variety of industries, including global policies from General Mills, Sodexo, Grupo Bimbo, InterContinental Hotels Group, Compass Group, Aldi Nord, Lidl, PepsiCo, Grupo Alsea, Unilever, Carrefour, Carnival Cruises, and Starwood Hotels.

Since its founding in 2005, The Humane League has applied a grassroots-focused and results-driven approach to ending the caging of hens in the egg industry worldwide. Since The Humane League began its work in the United Kingdom in June 2016, the organisation has successfully worked with a number of leading food companies, including Tesco, Iceland, Morrisons, Whitbread and more, to produce public policies to eliminate cages from their supply chains. The Humane League is also responsible for United Egg Producers’ commitment to eliminate the culling of male chicks in the United States, a decision that will prevent the suffering of 260 million chicks and 960,000 hens each year.

The Humane League is funded through generous donations by its worldwide network of supporters and has been named Top Charity by Animal Charity Evaluators. Last year, The Open Philanthropy Project announced that they will be granting The Humane League $2 million to support its campaigns for corporate cage-free egg reform. To learn more about what Peter Singer has called “one of the most effective animal charities in the world,” visit thehumaneleague.com


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Category: A Frontpage, Animal welfare, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), featured, Featured Article, Food, UK

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