University of Guelph becomes first in Canada to stop using eggs from caged hens
(Guelph, ON, Vancouver, BC) Two years after a shocking undercover investigation exposed the deplorable conditions of egg-laying hens on a farm owned by a poultry veterinarian closely linked to the University of Guelph, the venerable agricultural institution has decided to remove eggs from caged hens from all its food services starting September 2007.
“In a vote of eleven to six, the university’s Hospitality Services Advisory Committee voted to accept the proposed policy to buy only eggs that come from hens who were given the chance to flap their wings,” said Misha Buob, a member of the committee and strong supporter of the initiative. “Guelph will be the first university in Canada to make the switch, joining over 90 US universities and colleges. It is fitting that it happened here first.”
“The science is clear, hens suffer in cages,” says Bruce Passmore, a Guelph graduate and coordinator for the Vancouver Humane Society’s Chicken Out! project. “Battery cages represent one of the worst forms of animal cruelty in our society, but the problem is also one of the easiest to fix. If you buy eggs, choose cage-free options such as certified organic, free-range or free-run. Watch out for misleading labels like ‘Omega-3’, ‘Born-3’, ‘vegetarian fed’ or ‘natural’ as they are from caged hens.”
Approximately 98 percent of egg-laying hens in Canada are kept in tiny wire battery cages, where five to seven hens are crammed so tightly together that the hens can barely move, let alone flap their wings. Countries such as Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands have banned the use of battery cages, as will the entire European Union beginning in 2012.