Wednesday, March 26, 2008


UC Irvine Joins Snowballing Cage-Free Egg Trend

IRVINE, Calif. (March 26, 2008) — University of California Irvine has joined a growing movement toward improving the lives of farm animals by enacting a cage-free egg policy for campus dining facilities. Effective this month, all eggs that UC Irvine serves its students will be organic and cage-free—a new policy that drew praise from The Humane Society of the United States.

“Cramming hens inside cages so tiny they can’t even spread their wings is cruel and inhumane,” said Paul Shapiro, senior director of The HSUS’ factory farming campaign. “UC Irvine is right to join the growing number of colleges moving away from using eggs from caged hens.”

California factory farms confine approximately 19 million hens in barren battery cages so small, the birds can’t even spread their wings. Each bird has less space than a single sheet of paper on which to live.

UC Irvine joins hundreds of schools—including San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Pitzer and Concordia—in using cage-free eggs in their cafeterias. Companies such as Safeway, Burger King, Carl’s Jr. and Hardees, as well as celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck are moving away from supporting battery cages. Several grocery chains, including Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, have stopped selling cage eggs.

California city councils even have passed resolutions opposing battery cages. And last month, Californians turned in nearly 800,000 signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot to prohibit the use of battery cages in the state.

While cage-free does not mean cruelty-free, cage-free hens generally have 250-300 percent more space per bird and are able to engage in more of their natural behaviors than are caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside, but they are able to walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens confined in battery cages.


February 28, 2008—Californians submit nearly 800,000 signatures to place the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act on the November 2008 ballot.
February 2008—Safeway announces a far-reaching animal welfare program, including a purchasing preference for cage-free eggs.
December 2007—Compass Group, the world’s largest food service provider with over 7,500 U.S. clients, begins phasing out cage eggs.
March 2007—Burger King announces that it has started phasing in cage-free eggs in its North American locations.
March 2007—Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck announces that he will no longer use cage eggs in his restaurants.
September 2006—Ben & Jerry’s announces that it will phase out cage eggs in its ice creams.
May 2005—Whole Foods Market announce that they have ended sales of cage eggs.
November 2003—The Better Business Bureau rules that it is misleading to label eggs from battery-caged hens as “Animal Care Certified.”


Erin Williams (301) 721-6446,

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization—backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the web at

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty

Interested in taking action online to help animals? Then join our online community! Go to:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent work! What a milestone in UCI's sustainability regime.