WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Food Animal Concerns Trust ("FACT") has sued The Wendy's Company ("Wendy's") for misleading consumers by representing that its egg products are made in accordance with "our industry-leading animal welfare program." FACT (foodanimalconcernstrust.org/) is a national nonprofit consumer group that promotes policies that make foods from animals safe and healthy to eat, supports humane farmers, and works to promote truth in advertising, corporate accountability, and environmental sustainability.
The complaint alleges that Wendy's sources most of its eggs from facilities where hens are confined in inhumane cages. The action was filed Thursday, Sept. 9, on behalf of FACT by Richman Law & Policy in D.C. Superior Court under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act. FACT is not asking the court for damages, but seeks to end Wendy's unlawful conduct directed at D.C. consumers.
The lawsuit alleges that as of 2020, only five percent of Wendy's U.S. egg supply is even cage-free, and the remaining 95% are sourced from facilities that confine hens in cages. The 15-page complaint also notes:
- Scientists and animal welfare experts have condemned the practice of confining egg-laying hens in cages due to detrimental impacts on hen welfare.
- Each bird is afforded less than 90 square inches to move—a space smaller than the size of a sheet of paper—and are forced to live in these cramped conditions for their entire lives.
- Salmonella rates are higher in cage facilities compared to other housing systems.
"By representing its animal welfare program as 'industry-leading' and claiming its egg suppliers provide 'space and opportunities for animals to interact with their environment,' Wendy's deceives the majority of consumers who care about animal welfare," Rhodes said. "Companies that confine birds in cages for their entire lives are trailing the industry on animal welfare, not leading it."
The suit also alleges that consumers will pay more for egg products made from hens raised without cages. A 2015 survey found that 84% of consumers believe it is important to improve living conditions for animals.
SOURCE Richman Law & Policy