24 March 2010

Subway to phase in cage-free eggs with national expansion of breakfast menu


Coinciding with a national expansion of Subway’s breakfast menu, the restaurant chain announced that it will begin phasing in the use of cage-free eggs. The new animal welfare policy will ensure that 4% of the eggs used on the Subway breakfast menu will not come from battery caged hens. Subway plans to switch 100% of its eggs to cage-free in the United States and has already done so in the UK.

"Subway's new animal welfare policy will help improve conditions for animals within its supply chain and throughout the nation," stated Matthew Prescott, corporate outreach director for The Humane Society of the United States' factory farming campaign. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds Subway for beginning to phase out its use of eggs from hens confined in cages."

In addition, Subway will also include giving purchasing preference to poultry and pork suppliers who adhere to more humane methods of housing and slaughter.

"We have made a commitment to be more environmentally and socially responsible,” said Michele DiNello, director of corporate communication for Subway. “We are working with our partners at The Humane Society of the United States and our franchisee-owned Independent Purchasing Cooperative, which sources products and negotiates pricing contracts for SUBWAY® franchisees to take the steps needed to do this. There is much work to be done, but we are committed to conducting business in a manner consistent with accepted social practices."

Subway joins a growing list of companies who have updated animal welfare policies including Denny’s, Burger King, Wendy’s Quiznos, Sonic, IHOP, Carls Jr., Hardee’s, and Red Robin.

Facts from the Humane Society of the United States:

  • About 95 percent of egg-laying hens and 70 percent of breeding sows in the U.S. are cruelly confined in cages and crates so small the animals can barely move for their entire lives.
  • Seven states, including Michigan and California, have passed laws to phase out the extreme confinement of certain farm animals.
  • Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into battery cages. 

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