The research is being led by
The goal of the study is to understand the viability of alternate housing systems in the U.S., including cage-free and "enriched housing," which includes nests and perches, as well as the housing environments used by McDonald's current supply system in the U.S., which adheres to McDonald's strict Laying Hen standards. Another goal is to provide scientific-based research that will assist McDonald's and other companies in making more informed decisions on sustainable egg purchases, taking into account their independent company values and business needs.
"This is a welcome initiative for egg purchasers like McDonald's who want to consider all of the sustainability impacts when it comes to buying eggs - not just animal welfare, but environmental, food safety and economic factors," said
"There's a very compelling need for a study of this scope," said
"Globally, McDonald's supports cage and cage-free housing as long as they meet our animal welfare guiding principles," said
Currently, research on the design and infrastructure of the study has begun in conjunction with MSU and UC Davis. The timeline and costs are being determined, as well as standards for each housing type, with input from participating experts.
"A thorough understanding of the full range of sustainability factors regarding hen housing is an important goal of this project," said Dr.
- Cage-free aviary - hens live inside but can move around; free-range: hens can move in and out of a house freely.
- Enriched housing includes nests and perches.
- McDonald's USA Laying Hen Standards:
- In support of McDonald's Animal Welfare Guiding Principles and recommendations issued by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Animal Welfare for United Egg Producers (UEP), McDonald's has established guidelines that meet or exceed industry standards to ensure the proper treatment of laying hens used for egg production.
- McDonald's will purchase eggs from producers that support our corporate guidelines related to animal welfare and the UEP Scientific Advisory Committee's recommendations.