More victories leading to the end of the cage age for farm animals

By on September 21, 2021 with 0 Comments

For years, we at the Humane Society family of organizations have waged campaigns—through the boardroom to the ballot box—to eliminate the abusive practices of locking egg-laying hens in cages and mother pigs in gestation crates, practices that cause immense suffering for a staggering number of animals in agriculture. And we’ve made great progress. In fact, our high-profile legislative victories, such as California’s Proposition 12 and Massachusetts’ Question 3, have received a lot of media attention recently, with industrial farmers’ trade groups failing to strike down Proposition 12 in three separate lawsuits.

A necessary and core component to abolishing cages is also our success moving dozens of major food companies to publicly commit that they’ll eliminate them from their supply chains over time. But making a promise and keeping a promise are two very different things. That’s why today, we’re so focused on holding companies accountable to their pledges.

And our efforts are paying off. In just the last three months, major corporations have been accelerating their progress away from some of the cruelest practices in agribusiness.

This is the exact type of progress we need for farm animals—progress where companies are actually switching more and more products over to cage-free, rather than simply making promises to do so at some later date. These welcome commitments also serve as a strong foundation on which to build in other markets where Humane Society International is working closely with food companies and their international affiliates to promote the adoption and implementation of similar policies.

Hens confined in wire battery cages don’t even have enough room to be able to spread their wings. Alamy Stock Photo

That said, as positive as these developments are, there is much more to be done. Of particular concern right now are the many commitments companies have made which don’t seem to be moving forward. For example:

  • Cracker Barrel pledged to switch to 100% cage-free eggs but has not shown any progress toward that end. The company also seems to have done away with its promise to eliminate gestation crates from its pork supply.
  • Last year, Starbucks promised to release a timeline for eliminating gestation crates (after claiming for six years it was working toward that goal) but still has yet to do so.
  • Some grocery retailers—like Giant Eagle, Kroger and Albertsons—seem to lack any kind of tangible plans for keeping their cage-free egg promises.
  • Dine Brands—while making progress on its cage-free promise—has unfortunately done away with its pledge to eliminate gestation crates.
  • Brinker International (owner of Chili’s) has not shown any progress whatsoever toward keeping its promises about eliminating gestation crates and switching to 100% cage-free eggs.

Just as the list of companies that are making progress is long and robust, unfortunately, so too is the list of companies that are not. That’s why the Humane Society family of organizations is committed to both praising companies that are already on the road to eliminating cages while pushing others to get on the road. We owe that to you—our members and supporters—and to the animals.

Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.

‘Increasing public health threat’ from disease found in pet store puppies

By on September 20, 2021 with 1 Comment
‘Increasing public health threat’ from disease found in pet store puppies

By selling puppy mill dogs, some pet stores are spreading severe diseases that are dangerous to the public. We’ve been saying this for years. And now a new scientific investigation published this month by the Journal of the American Medical Association Network reinforces this fact. . . . 

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Breaking: European Parliament votes to phase out animal testing and research

By on September 16, 2021 with 0 Comments
Breaking: European Parliament votes to phase out animal testing and research

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that calls on the European Commission to draw-up an action plan to phase out animal experiments. This is a momentous political victory in a region where recent setbacks have occurred for animals in . . . 

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Why fostering an animal is especially meaningful right now

By on September 15, 2021 with 0 Comments
Why fostering an animal is especially meaningful right now

COVID-19 has made the past year and a half challenging, difficult and painful for so many individuals and institutions across the world. The animal sheltering and rescue community is no exception. Last summer, as the pandemic worsened across the U.S., shelters responded by growing programs . . . 

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New law increases availability of service dogs for veterans with PTSD

By on September 13, 2021 with 2 Comments
New law increases availability of service dogs for veterans with PTSD

President Biden recently signed the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers for Veterans Therapy Act (PAWS), which increases the number of service dogs available to support veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions. We’re elated at the thought that more veterans will have access to the . . . 

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What the 9/11 search and rescue dogs show about our interdependence on animals

By on September 10, 2021 with 1 Comment
What the 9/11 search and rescue dogs show about our interdependence on animals

Twenty years ago, in the days after September 11, 2001, heroic first responders did the unthinkable task of going into the wreckage to search for signs of life. By their sides were the search and rescue dogs who, over the last two decades, have garnered . . . 

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A massive blow to puppy mill industry: Illinois ends the sale of puppies in pet stores

By on September 8, 2021 with 26 Comments
A massive blow to puppy mill industry: Illinois ends the sale of puppies in pet stores

In a major win in the fight against cruel puppy mills, Illinois’ Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed the Humane Pet Store Bill (HB 1711) into law. The state’s 21 puppy-selling pet stores have 180 days from August 27, the date the bill was signed, to . . . 

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In major win for animals, Mexico bans animal testing for cosmetics

By on September 7, 2021 with 3 Comments
In major win for animals, Mexico bans animal testing for cosmetics

Even in our age of advanced technologies, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats continue to have chemicals and substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes or slathered on their skin to satisfy new regulatory demands that undercut progress against cosmetic animal testing. That’s . . . 

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Breaking: Rescuers and police discover 150 pet shop animals in desperate need of help

By on September 2, 2021 with 6 Comments
Breaking: Rescuers and police discover 150 pet shop animals in desperate need of help

At a pet store located next to a flea market in Burnside, Kentucky, on Wednesday morning, members of our rescue team encountered nightmarish conditions for dozens of animals. The details of the scene were heartbreaking to hear. The air inside the store was musty and . . . 

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Breaking: Rescuers arrive to save dogs and puppies from dog meat farm

By on September 1, 2021 with 4 Comments
Breaking: Rescuers arrive to save dogs and puppies from dog meat farm

When residents reported hearing harrowing yelps and screams coming from a nearby farm on Jindo Island in South Korea, local authorities investigated. What they found were the typical heart-wrenching scenes of a dog meat farm. I am acquainted with sounds like these. When I have . . . 

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From “pet” cougars to flooding victims, animal rescue requires preparation

By on August 31, 2021 with 4 Comments
From “pet” cougars to flooding victims, animal rescue requires preparation

On Sunday, Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall. Our Animal Rescue and Response team moved toward the strike zone, ready to assist animals in need. Bringing together supplies, equipment and personnel to support emergency response . . . 

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Dog meat traders to be prosecuted for the first time in Indonesian history

By on August 25, 2021 with 20 Comments
Dog meat traders to be prosecuted for the first time in Indonesian history

Indonesia’s first-ever prosecution of dog meat traders under animal health and food safety laws represents another milestone in the global campaign to protect dogs from being slaughtered for food. A district attorney on the island of Java recently confirmed plans to prosecute dog traders intercepted . . . 

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