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June 19, 2015

HSI: A Timeline of Major Farm Animal Protection Advancements

Humane Society International

  • Gestation crates are being abandoned. Shaiith/istock

HSI Farm Animals exists to end the extreme confinement of farm animals in cages and crates, and to stem the rise in meat, egg, and milk consumption globally. Here is some of the progress we've made:


October 2016: Arcos Dorados, the largest operator of McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, announced plans to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs in its supply chain by 2025.

September 2016: Burger King—via its parent company Restaurant Brands International—committed to switching to exclusively cage-free eggs and gestation crate-free pork for its entire supply chain in Latin America by 2025.

September 2016: Mexican restaurant operator CMR announced that it will improve animal welfare standards in its supply chain in Mexico, starting with a transition to a cage-free egg supply chain.

September 2016: Compass Group, the world’s leading food service company with operations in 50 countries and serving around five billion meals a year, announced that it will source only cage-free eggs for its global liquid and shell egg supply chain by 2025.

August 2016: Alsea, the largest restaurant operator in Latin America, announced it will switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs throughout its entire supply chain in Mexico, Latin America and Spain by 2025.

August 2016: Grupo Toks, with 226 restaurants in Mexico, became the first Mexican restaurant company to commit to a cage-free egg and crate-free pork supply chain. The company will work with its egg and pork suppliers and HSI to reach its 2022 deadline.

July 2016: Sodexo, the world’s leading Quality of Life services company with operations in 80 countries, announced that it would source only cage-free eggs for its global liquid and shell egg supply chain by 2025.

July 2016: The final draft of the World Bank Group’s Safeguard Policies contained a reference to meaningful animal welfare standards that would prohibit some of the most abusive practices in animal agriculture, including the cruel confinement of animals in battery cages and gestation crates on large-scale facilities.

May 2016: HSI/Canada welcomed an announcement from Aramark Canada that it would end the use of all eggs from caged hens in its supply chain by 2022 for shell eggs and 2025 for liquid eggs.

May 2016: The city of Goiania, the capital of Goias state, became Brazil’s second state capital to ban products (such as foie gras) made by force-feeding animals.

March 2016: Grocery members of the Retail Council of Canada, including Loblaw Companies Limited, Metro Inc., Sobeys Inc., and Wal-Mart Canada Corp., announced a goal of sourcing 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025.

March 2016: A&W, one of Canada’s largest restaurant chains, committed to switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs in its more than 800 Canadian locations within two years.

January 2016: Restaurant Brands International committed to eliminating eggs produced by hens confined in cages from its egg supply chain by switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs. The policy applies to all the company’s brands worldwide—including Burger King and Tim Hortons, Canada’s largest restaurant chain—with a goal of accomplishing the transition in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico by 2025.


December 2015: Subway, the world’s largest restaurant chain, pledged to eliminate battery eggs from its North American supply chain, including in Mexico, by 2025.

December 2015: Cooperativa Central Aurora Alimentos, Brazil's third largest pork producer, said it would eliminate life-long gestation crate confinement from its entire supply chain by 2026.

December 2015: Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, the largest bakery company in the world, announced a global cage-free egg policy (including in China).

December 2015: As part of our effort to build an enabling policy environment for meat reduction at a global level, we co-hosted a side-event at the international climate conference in Paris (COP21) entitled "Meat: the Big Omission from the Talks on Emissions," which was well-attended by policy-makers from around the world.

November 2015: JBS announced that its contract farmers would also transition to group housing for breeding sows by 2025, and indicated movement away from surgical castration and teeth clipping.

November 2015: The Brazilian city of Blumenau banned the production of foie gras.

October 2015: HSI launched Meatless Monday and our new Spanish campaign video (narrated by actor Eugenio Derbez) in Mexico City on 10/6. The launch of Green Monday South Africa took place in Cape Town on 10/12. Both events were attended by media, celebrities, chefs, and food companies, and garnered extensive media coverage.

September 2015: Austria announced the intention to bring its international investment policies in line with domestic animal welfare standards (following on similar commitments by three other member states and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2014).

September 2015: We held an event in Brussels calling for reduced meat consumption that was attended by approximately 1,000 people including MEPs, Parliament staff, and European Commission personnel.

August 2015: More than 100,000 of HSI’s supporters participated in an online action, asking the World Bank for the inclusion of animal welfare in its lending policies.

June 2015: JBS, the second largest pork producer in Brazil and the largest meat processing company in the world, agreed to phase out use of gestation crates on all company-owned facilities by 2016.

May 2015: Andaz Papagayo Resort of Hyatt Group in Costa Rica adopted a cage-free egg policy.

April 2015: The Austrian government included a call for animal welfare standards equivalent to EU levels in its International Finance Institution (IFI) strategy.

April 2015: A petition against battery cages was submitted in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court by HSI partner group People for Animals Hyderabad.

March 2015: Amrit group started retail marketing of cage-free eggs through different supermarkets and their own retail outlet.

February 2015: The UK Government’s 5-Year Progress Report on International Animal Welfare referenced HSI’s report on International financial institutions, and acknowledged the need to bring international investment policy in line with domestic animal welfare standards.

February 2015: A petition against battery cage systems was submitted in Allahabad High Court by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).


December 2014:  The Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (a global initiative which includes the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) published a new guidance document that recognizes animal welfare throughout and also addresses overconsumption of animal products.

December 2014:  The International Finance Corporation (IFC) updated its Good Practice Note on Animal Welfare in Livestock Operations. New version has explicit language against the use of gestation crates, and effectively bans battery cage confinement.

December 2014: Eurest, the leading food service provider in Mexico, adopted a cage-free egg and crate-free pork purchasing policy.

December 2014: At meeting of Agriculture Ministers from EU member states, The Agriculture Ministers of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands called on EU Member States to safeguard animal welfare when granting investment capital through international finance institutions and when providing guarantees through export credit agencies.

November 2014: BRF, Brazil's largest pork producer, announced a phaseout of lifelong confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates.

November 2014: Hyatt Regency Mexico City announced a cage-free egg and crate-free pork policy.

November 2014: HSI announced winners of First Annual Farm Animal Welfare Journalist award in Mexico.

November 2014: New Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary for policymakers and synthesis report acknowledged the need for animal welfare safeguards and more sustainable consumption practices.

October 2014: Rubén Albarrán of Café Tacvba joined HSI's Déjalas Mover campaign in Mexico.

October 2014: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security adopted Responsible Agriculture Investment Principles, which include mentions of animal welfare and “sustainable consumption.”

September 2014: HSI partnered with Guatemala's Department of Animal Health to improve conditions for farm and companions animals in the country.

September 2014: Cine Tonalá joined Déjalas Mover in Mexico, adopting a cage-free egg policy

August 2014: Ambulante and EcoFest, two of Mexico's most important festivals, joined Déjalas Mover.

July 2014: HSI launched Déjalas Mover campaign to end lifelong confinement in battery cages and gestation crates in Mexico.

June 2014:  India shut down its only gestation crate facility after HSI/India’s campaign against gestation crate systems.

June 2014: Bombay High Court issued notice against confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages in a case filed by Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).

June 2014: Drug Controller General and Agriculture Ministry of India issued a directive urging State Governments to stop using antibiotics and hormones in animal agriculture.

May 2014: HSI hosted workshop on Market Opportunities for Cage-Free Egg Production in Costa Rica.

May 2014: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) updated its Environmental and Social Policy (ESP) to ensure that any agribusiness projects it finances meet or exceed European Union animal welfare laws. This was the first time that an international finance institution has adopted binding animal welfare criteria for investments.

April 2014: The Conference of German State Agriculture Ministers asked the German government to ensure that International Finance Institutions meet or exceed European Union animal welfare laws when funding agribusiness.

April 2014: Arcos Dorados, the largest McDonald's franchisee in the world, announced all pork suppliers must present plans to promote crate-free housing systems.

March 2014: Restaurant Serenitea in Costa Rica went cage-free.

March 2014: Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notice against confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages by Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).


Nov 2013: Hotel ITC Sonar Kolkata became a leader in the hospitality industry by switching to buying cage-free eggs.

Oct 2013: President of World Council, Swami Agnivesh urged the government of India to ban battery cages in India.

August 2013: Google Mexico adopted a  cage-free egg policy.

June 2013: HSI released a report, Investments in Suffering, [JMS1] which exposed how Member States of the European Union were financially backing international banks and credit agencies that were investing in agricultural companies that failed to meet the EU’s standards for the humane treatment of farm animals.

May 2013: HSI/India successfully persuade 24 out of 29 states in India that battery cages are illegal.

March 2013: Hotel The Park Kolkata adopted a cage-free policy by ending the procurement of caged eggs.


Oct 2012: Hotel Hyatt Regency Kolkata initiated the procurement of cage-free eggs.

July 2012: Cafe de los Deseos in Costa Rica adopted a cage-free egg policy.

June 2012: Apfel Jardins restaurant in Sao Paulo adopted a cage-free egg policy.

May 2012: Oasis in Costa Rica adopted a cage-free egg policy.

April 2012: Restaurants Brado and Mestico in Sao Paulo, Brazil adopted cage-free egg policies.

March 2012: HSI persuaded Animal Welfare Board of India and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India to follow international guidelines for euthanizing of affected animal populations during disease outbreaks.

February 2012: Umami catering company in Brazil adopted a cage-free egg policy.

Jan 2012: HSI released a report on the negative impact of Industrial Farm production on Food Security in the Developing World[JMS2] .


Nov 2011: Crowne Plaza Bengaluru-Electronics City Hotel phased out the procurement of eggs from hens confined in cages or continually confined indoors in sheds.

Sept 2011: Restaurants Nascente, Um Gosto de Sol and Formoso in Brazil adopted cage-free egg policies.

Sep 2011: Happy Hens Farm became the first Indian egg producer to label eggs “Free Range.”

June 2011: Restaurant Cheiro Verde in Brazil adopted a cage-free egg policy.

April 2011: HSI held workshop on impacts of factory farming in Brazil.

April 2011: Banana Verde restaurant in Brazil adopted a cage-free egg policy.

March 2011: HSI congratulated Hotel Ramada Plaza New Delhi for hatching a new cage-free egg policy.

Feb 2011: Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai switched to procuring cage-free eggs.

Jan 2011: Indian Chef Mako Ravindran switched all eggs used by his company, Food Etc., to cage-free.


Oct 2010Apfel in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil adopted a cage-free egg policy.

Feb 2010: Crowne Plaza Hotel in Gurgaon, India initiated procurement of cage-free eggs.

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