100+ global cage-free wins show the power of corporate campaigning

A brown feathered hen from the neck up. Her tail feathers are visible but out of focus. She is standing in front of a wooden fence.
A brown feathered hen from the neck up. Her tail feathers are visible but out of focus. 
She is standing in front of a wooden fence.
Image credit – Jinki Cambronero

We’re celebrating an incredible achievement for chickens worldwide. Over 100 companies have committed to ending the worst abuses against hens used for egg-laying in every country where they operate across the globe. From fast-food conglomerates to supermarket giants to hotel chains, these multinational corporations have promised to stop using cruel cages – proving that the movement to end the abuse of animals is showing no signs of slowing down.

With over 100 global cage-free policies now in place to end cruel confinement practices on factory farms, we all have so much to celebrate. Five years ago, we couldn’t have dreamed of making this much progress for hens. After all, it’s standard practice and legal in the egg industry to confine these inquisitive beings to filthy wire cages, with less space per bird than the size of a single sheet of printer paper. 

Trapped in these cramped prisons, hens twist their legs in the mesh flooring and lose their feathers as they chafe their wings against the metal bars that enclose them. Unable to walk around or even stand at their full height, these sensitive birds are condemned to a life of sheer misery. As well as the trauma they endure in strict confinement, these hens lay hundreds of eggs every year, their bodies pushed far beyond what’s natural in order to serve a corporation’s bottom line.

A hen in a cage with several out of focus hens behind her. She has brown feathers on her neck and head but her body is missing feathers. She looks out toward the camera through bars.
Image credit – Farmwatch

Securing 100 global cage-free policies in just five years is nothing short of momentous. Thanks to advocates like you who signed petitions, shared posts on social media, emailed decision-makers, made donations, organised demonstrations, and showed up at protests, 100 companies have now committed to phasing out cages for hens in every country where they do business. Over 2,100 companies around the world have issued cage-free policies—and now, thanks to you, more than 100 of these policies are set to improve the lives of hens not just in corporations’ national supply chains, but in their global supply chains.

The Open Wing Alliance (OWA) – a global coalition of advocates – supported these far-reaching efforts to end the abuse of chickens in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Initiated by The Humane League in 2016, the OWA has united 78 organizations from 63 countries to eliminate the use of cages for hens, one cage-free policy at a time. Because people around the world took the time to take action for animals, the shift away from cages isn’t just happening – it’s accelerating. The progress is real, and the momentum is unstoppable.

100 global corporate policies mean that, while eggs are still consumed, cage-free eggs will become the norm on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves. 100 global corporate policies mean some countries – such as Serbia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Russia – have made their first-ever commitments to go cage-free. 100 global corporate policies mean state, regional, and federal laws against confinement are far more likely to get passed. And 100 global corporate policies mean we’ve made it to a historic turning point that compassionate people like you made possible.

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