Walmart—the world’s largest retailer and the biggest food seller in the nation—as announced that it will source all of its eggs from cage-free sources, following collaboration with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The historic move will take full effect among all of Walmart’s 4,573 stores in the United States, as well as its 404 Canadian locations, by 2025. “Since September, when McDonald’s announced its cage-free policy, we knew that we had turned the corner in the fight against battery cages,” HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle said. “But today, that debate ends, and the trajectory of this debate is clear. The era of confining hens in cages in America’s food system is officially sunsetting.” The efforts made by HSUS to convince the mega-corporation to eliminate the cruel practice has spanned during the previous 10 years, Pacelle said—work that, while not freeing animals from the horrors of factory farming, is noteworthy considering Walmart accounts for 25 percent of all groceries sold in the US. Unlike battery cage hens, who live in less space than a sheet of letter-sized paper for the entirety of their lives, unconfined hens have access to dust-bathing areas and perches, and are able to walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests, “vital natural behaviors” that are “very significant to the animals involved,” HSUS said. Walmart’s announcement is the latest in a trend of corporations saying no to cruel confinement, following Panera Bread, General Mills, and McDonald’s.
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