Delhi

BJP MP urges McDonald’s not to buy battery cage eggs

: BJP MP Poonam Mahajan has urged McDonald’s India to end the procurement of eggs from battery cage facilities and start sourcing only cage-free eggs in its supply chain.

Sources said a letter was sent on December 1, in the wake of a series of recent commitments made by McDonald’s to switch to 100 per cent ‘cage-free’ eggs within its supply chain in United States, Canada and South Africa.

A4-sized cage

India is the third largest egg-producing country in the world, with approximately 120 million egg -laying hens that are bred in cruel, commercial battery cages that are typically as long as an A4 size paper. Battery cages are named so as they are stacked one on top of the other like batteries. While McDonald’s has promised to phase out battery cages in many countries, there has been no commitment from them in India despite repeated efforts from animal welfare advocates.

The letter

“The factory farming of egg-laying hens is replete with cruelty. The birds are crammed wing to wing and nearly immobilised their entire lives. McDonald’s has recently committed to improve animal welfare standards within its supply chain in the United States, Canada and South Africa by phasing out the procurement of eggs from caged hens. A similar policy adopted in India would change the lives of approximately 120 million egg-laying hens presently suffering in battery cages,” said the letter from Poonam Mahajan, who is also trustee, People for Animals (PFA).

Salmonella

PFA noted that keeping hens in battery cages increases the likelihood of Salmonella bacteria, which is found in retail eggs and a major cause of food poisoning in India. In 2013, 24 out of 29 states in India had agreed that battery cage system is illegal.

“The cage-free egg movement has quickly spread throughout the world and a growing number of food companies — including Compass Group, Sodexo, Subway and others — are adopting cage-free egg purchasing policies,” noted the release.


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