Group protests McDonald’s use of caged chicken eggs
A Taiwanese environmental and animal rights non-profit group demonstrated in Taipei yesterday to urge fast-food giant McDonald’s to stop using eggs from battery-raised chickens.
Representatives of the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) dressed in chicken costumes and unfurled banners, holding signs outside a McDonald’s outlet and calling on the fast food chain to stop buying farmed eggs in battery and to help put an end to the abuse of eggs – laying hens.
The signs read: “McDonald’s, stop abusing chickens”, with an EST representative holding a cage with several fake chickens inside.
EAST’s campaign coincided with similar protests in South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong on a regional “cage-free” day.
Battery-raised chickens are raised with two to five hens per cage, with a living space about the size of an A4 sheet of paper, EST researcher Tsun Fang-chu (寸舫) told reporters.筑).
The system is arranged in rows and columns of cages connected as a unit and has long been criticized as inhumane.
Other restaurant chains such as KFC and Burger King have cage-free egg policies in place, Tsun said, adding that McDonald’s continues to use eggs from battery-raised chickens across Asia, although promised to use free-range eggs in other markets such as the United States, Canada, Latin America and South Africa.
Animal rights groups in Asia have been pressuring McDonald’s to stop using such eggs for 10 years, but the US-based chain has not provided a satisfactory response, Tsun said.
Although McDonald’s announced to its shareholders this year that it would use its global influence to improve animal welfare, there were no immediate signs that the chain was stopping the practice in Asia, Tsun said.
“It’s almost discriminatory, and certainly an unfortunate decision by McDonald’s,” she said.
McDonald’s Taiwan said in a statement that the company adheres to food hygiene regulations in Taiwan and has paid close attention to animal rights, having improved the environment in which chickens are raised through the use of systems water curtains and ensuring that the animals receive sufficient feed.
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