14 June 2011

SEC rules in favor of HSUS in Bob Evans animal cruelty proposal case

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) wanted shareholders of Bob Evans Farms to vote on a proposal that would encourage the Ohio-based company to phase in cage-free eggs. Bob Evans wasn’t game.

The restaurant and food giant petitioned the SEC for permission to block the HSUS measure from actually reaching a shareholder vote. Unfortunately for the peddler of sausage, egg and gravy the Commission denied their request.

“In our view, the proposal focuses on the significant policy issue of the humane treatment of animals,” SEC Special Counsel Raymond A. Be, stated in the Commission’s ruling. “Bob Evans Farms’ practices and policies do not compare favorably with the guidelines of the proposal.”

“Shareholders have a right to know that all the eggs sold at Bob Evans come from hens who live miserable lives crammed inside cages,” said director of corporate policy for The HSUS’ farm animal protection campaign, Josh Balk. “It’s time for Bob Evans to take a meaningful and practical step in the right direction by phasing in cage-free eggs.”

Restaurants from coast to coast, even the evil empire McDonalds, have started to phase in cage-free eggs. Those establishments include the likes of Burger King, Subway, Denny’s and Wendy’s.

But the debate rages on throughout the animal rights world if the move away from battery cages to cage-free equates to progress. What do you think?

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/gregbrock