- Maqi, CC By 3.0
- Known as "battery cages," many egg-laying chickens live in cramped and cruel conditions. Albertsons announced today to sell eggs from cage-free chicken eggs by 2025.
Many of the chickens that lay the eggs consumers purchase at grocery stores throughout the United States live their lives in cages, according to Mercy for Animals—a nonprofit devoted to preventing cruelty to farm animals around the globe.
"[The] cages [are] so small, the birds can't walk, fully spread their wings or engage in other natural behaviors," MFA stated in a blog post on its website. "Many birds become trapped and painfully mangled in cafe wire or under feed trays and often suffer and die. Dead hens are left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption."
Boise-based Albertsons grocery chain announced on March 1 that it plans to sell only cage-free eggs by the year 2025, based on available supply. Albertsons has sold a variety of eggs for years, including organic, free-range and cage-free options. A press release stated those offerings have been popular among the grocer's customers.
"We take our commitment to providing responsibly sourced products seriously, and that responsibility extends naturally into ensuring our suppliers uphold humane animal welfare practices," said Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer for Albertsons. "The transition to cage-free eggs will help us continue to provide a great, humane product to our costumers while ensuring that our suppliers have ample time to prepare their operations to meet increased demand from retailers.
Mercy for Animals states Albertsons is joining several other grocers making similar commitments, including Costco, Target, CVS and Trader Joe's. The nonprofit staged protests at Safeway's corporate headquarters and various storefronts, gathering more than 65,000 signatures on a change.org petition targeting Safeway and Albertsons executives to make the change.