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(CA) ABC-7: New Target In Battery-Cage Chicken Crusade

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  • christine@eastbayanimaladvocates.org
    New Target In Battery-Cage Chicken Crusade By Dan Noyes, ABC 7 News Feb. 1, 2006 - We have a follow-up now to an ABC7 I-Team investigation into the eggs you
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2006
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      New Target In 'Battery-Cage' Chicken Crusade

      By Dan Noyes, ABC 7 News

      Feb. 1, 2006 - We have a follow-up now to an ABC7 I-Team investigation
      into the eggs you buy. It's been almost three months since we first
      showed you undercover pictures of battery cages -- a common farming
      technique used to confine hens. Now there's new fallout from our

      There was action in both the courts and in the grocery stores on
      Wednesday. The Humane Society filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior
      Court and Trader Joe's has pulled its store-brand battery cage eggs off
      the shelves. We also have new undercover pictures from Northern
      California egg farms.

      Our tape from the group "East Bay Animal Advocates" shows how 95 percent
      of all eggs in this country are produced -- in battery cages. As many as
      10 hens are crammed into a single cage. They can't walk or even spread
      their wings. Their beaks have to be clipped so they won't cannibalize
      each other. The lack of activity sometimes leads to paralysis or to
      bones so brittle, they break.

      Activist: "Just so many animals smashed into a small location that
      couldn't move."

      This activist snuck into a supplier for Trader Joe's in the Central
      Valley town of Hilmar and took these pictures of battery cages.

      Activist: "Certainly if most people knew the animal cruelty and
      suffering that went into battery egg production, they would not support

      The Humane Society of the United States had been pressuring Trader Joe's
      for months to stop selling eggs from battery cages. Just four days after
      the I-Team first broadcast these pictures in November 2005, the company
      gave in. Beginning today (Wednesday), Trader Joe's will sell only
      cage-free eggs under its brand name, and the company sells more than
      100-million of its private label eggs a year.

      Wayne Pacelle, Humane Society of the United States CEO: "And I think the
      logic is there. Most Americans don't want to see animals reared for
      food, whether it's for eggs or for meat, treated in an entirely
      inhumane way."

      Wayne Pacelle says Whole Foods, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, and
      cafeterias at 75 colleges and universities have switched to cage-free
      eggs because of the Humane Society campaign. Their next target? Ben &

      Wayne Pacelle: "We're in discussions with them. They've told us it looks
      very promising. We're hoping that's going to be the next marker in our
      move to eliminate battery cage hen production in this country."

      Ben & Jerry's already uses cage-free eggs in their ice cream sold in
      Europe, but they use battery cage eggs in this country. No comment from
      the company headquarters in Vermont tonight, but their latest "Social
      and Environmental Assessment" says, "We've not yet found an
      economically manageable way to use free-range eggs for our U.S.

      On the other front today, Humane Society lawyers filed a lawsuit in San
      Francisco Superior Court. It says the State Board of Equalization and
      Controller Steve Westly "have wasted and illegally used public funds"
      by giving tax breaks to farmers for the purchase of battery cages.

      Jon Lovvorn, Humane Society of the United States Lawyer: "The cruelty
      code specifically requires anyone confining an animal to give it an
      adequate exercise area. We don't think battery cages provide that. So,
      the BOE expenditure of funds to subsidize those cages violates state
      law and that's the basis for our lawsuit."

      Officials at the Board of Equalization wouldn't comment on the lawsuit
      and Steve Westly's office says the controller "just cuts the checks and
      follows the law."

      By the way, Trader Joe's still sells battery cage eggs from other
      companies. They're cheaper than cage free and some people care more
      about the price than the issue.


      ABC News Link:

      ABC Comments Online:

      HSUS Online:

      EBAA Egg Investigation Online: http://www.cal-eggs.com
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