April 2, 2008
Kegg Farms Becomes First Indian Egg Producer to Label Eggs 'Cage-Free'
NEW DELHI, India — Humane Society International praised Kegg Farms today for being the first egg producer in India to label its eggs as "cage-free."
The majority of egg-laying hens in India spend their lives crowded into cages so small, the birds lack sufficient space to walk or even stretch their wings. "Cage-free" eggs come from hens who move about freely, in this case within a shed. Since its inception in 1967, Kegg Farms has never kept its flocks in cages.
"For me, it is not a question of economics, it is an expression of my personal values and beliefs," said Mr. Vinod Kapur, founder and CEO of Kegg Farms. Mr. Kapur calls his cage-free system "infinitely more compassionate" than the more common battery cage system.
HSI has launched a campaign against the use of battery cages in India, citing the cruelty inherent in keeping animals confined in such a small and tightly packed space. HSI urges consumers to avoid purchasing or consuming battery-cage eggs; however, until now, it has been difficult for people to tell the difference between battery-cage and cage-free eggs, as both were identical in appearance. By labeling their eggs as "cage-free," Kegg Farms provides egg consumers with the information they need to make the better choice.
Kegg Farms' cage-free eggs are sold under the brand name "Keggs," and are available at supermarkets in the Delhi/Guragaon area. The first eggs with the cage-free labels reached store shelves earlier this year.
- India's factory farms confine more than 100 million hens in barren battery cages. Each bird lives within a space smaller than a single sheet of paper for more than a year before she's slaughtered.
- In India, factory farms that confine more than 50,000 birds within a single shed are increasingly common.
- While cage-free does not mean cruelty-free, cage-free hens generally have 250 percent to 300 percent more space per bird and are able to act more naturally than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside, but they are able to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors denied to hens confined in battery cages.
Humane Society International (HSI) is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, a nonprofit organization founded in 1954, with 10.5 million supporters. HSI works to create a humane and sustainable world for all animals, including people, through education, support, and the promotion of respect and compassion. Our efforts include: Building capacity in developing countries for humane agricultural practices and wildlife and habitat protection initiatives; helping to control stray animal populations using humane methods; promoting more humane treatment of livestock and providing veterinary services for livestock and companion animals; combating the illegal wildlife trade; protecting endangered species and marine mammals; educating children and adults; strengthening organizations and governments; and conserving wildlife habitats. Additional information can be found at hsi.org.