Trader Joe's Gives Birds Something to Sing About; The Humane Society of the United States & Trader Joe's Reach Agreement Affecting Hundreds of Thousands of Animals

11/8/2005

Contact: Erin Williams of the Humane Society of the United States, 301-721-6446 or ewilliams@hsus.org

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization, announces the latest success in its No Battery Eggs campaign, declaring a moratorium in its four-month campaign to urge Trader Joe's to improve its laying hen welfare policy.

The majority of eggs currently sold at Trader Joe's are the company's own brand eggs, laid by hundreds of thousands of hens confined in battery cages-wire enclosures so small the birds cannot even spread their wings. Under the terms of this agreement, within three months:

1. All Trader Joe's brand eggs will be converted to cage-free eggs.

2. Any egg promotions by Trader Joe's will be devoted solely to cage-free egg sales.

Presently, the company sells more than 100 million Trader Joe's brand battery cage eggs per year, meaning that the company's new policy could benefit an estimated 380,000 birds.

"Trader Joe's has taken a positive step that will have a meaningful effect on animal welfare," explained HSUS president and CEO Wayne Pacelle. "By converting its private line eggs to cage-free, Trader Joe's helps reduce the number of birds confined in cruel cages. We are, therefore, putting our Trader Joe's campaign on moratorium."

According to Trader Joe's Chairman and CEO Dan Bane, "Customers looking for cage-free eggs will need to look no further than the Trader Joe's label. We expect this change will help further boost the proportion of sales of cage-free eggs at Trader Joe's."

Since July, tens of thousands of concerned consumers have supported The HSUS's campaign. The HSUS's full-page ad in the Oct. 5 Los Angeles Times asking, "Why Won't Trader Joe's Give an Inch?" reached hundreds of thousands of consumers and elicited tremendous response from individuals wanting to learn more about battery cage cruelty.

This agreement with Trader Joe's is the latest advancement for laying hen welfare in the United States. Just this year, Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace implemented exclusively cage-free egg policies, and several regional grocery chains and college cafeterias have pledged the same. Food service provider Bon Appétit-a purchaser of 8 million shell eggs for its more than 55 million meals sold annually in nearly 200 dining facilities in 26 states-has begun a one-year phase-out of all shell battery eggs.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than nine million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The non-profit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives across the country. On the Web at http://www.hsus.org.