CINCINNATI, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket chain, announced its commitment to improving animal welfare in its entire supply chain by switching to 100% cage-free eggs by 2025. The policy affects all its stores and affiliate locations, including Ralphs, Dillons, Fry's Food Stores, Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, Smith's Food and Drug, and QFC. The move, which will spare countless hens a life of suffering in tiny wire battery cages, has been applauded by the international animal protection organization Mercy For Animals.
The new cage-free commitment by Kroger follows similar announcements by grocers Albertsons, Safeway, Delhaize, Giant, Stop & Shop, Costco, Target, CVS, Trader Joe's, and BJ's Wholesale Club. In addition, nearly 100 other retailers, restaurants, foodservice companies, and food manufacturers have pledged to go cage-free in the last year.
Caged egg production is inherently cruel. Stuffed into cages so small the birds can't walk, spread their wings, or engage in other natural behaviors, these intelligent, sensitive animals are subjected to unspeakable cruelty and neglect. Many birds become trapped and painfully mangled in cage wire or under feed trays and often suffer and die. Dead hens are left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption. Battery cages are so cruel they've been banned by California, Michigan, and the European Union.
The following statement can be attributed to Nathan Runkle, president of MFA:
We praise Kroger for making the socially responsible choice to adopt a cage-free egg policy. Kroger's leadership on this issue will spare millions of animals from unspeakable cruelty. Kroger has really stepped up to the plate and put ethics into action. Kroger's move to adopt an exclusively cage-free egg policy is a tipping point for the industry. As the nation's largest grocer, Kroger's cage-free egg commitment will alleviate the suffering of countless hens in its supply chain and inspire other grocers to make similar animal welfare commitments.
It's high time SUPERVALU, H-E-B, and Publix acknowledged that cramming birds into cages so small they can't walk or even fully spread their wings is animal abuse no company with morals should support. Any food company that has not yet adopted a cage-free egg policy is simply out of step with consumer expectations and business trends.
The following statement can be attributed to David Coman-Hidy, executive director of The Humane League:
"The Humane League has been working with Kroger for some time on this issue. We applaud Kroger for listening to the concerns of its customers and The Humane League's supporters and committing to going 100% cage-free. This will have a huge impact on the future of animal welfare in the U.S."
To learn more about MFA and its efforts to help farmed animals, visit MercyForAnimals.org.
SOURCE Mercy For Animals