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April 18, 2011

Banana Verde Hatches New Cage-Free Egg Policy

Humane Society International

  • Cage-free is less inhumane. HSI

SÃO PAULO—Humane Society International applauded São Paulo-based restaurant Banana Verde for ending its use of eggs from hens confined in cruel battery cages by switching to cage-free eggs.

More than 70 million egg-laying hens in Brazil spend their lives in crowded and barren battery cages so small, each bird has less space than a standard sized sheet of paper to spend her entire life. Cage-free eggs come from hens who have significantly more space to move around and express many more of their natural behaviors.

“By switching to cage-free eggs, Banana Verde is taking a stand against one of the most inhumane factory farming abuses,” said Guilherme Carvalho, HSI’s campaign manager in Brazil. “Humane Society International commends Banana Verde and hopes other restaurants will follow its lead.”

Banana Verde’s commitment to adopt a cage-free egg policy comes as a major worldwide movement against cruel and inhumane cages is taking root. Austria, Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have already banned battery cages. A complete ban on conventional battery cages throughout the European Union takes effect in 2012. In the United States, California and Michigan have passed laws to phase out the use of cages to confine hens.

“Our customers are more and more concerned about animal welfare,” said Priscilla Herrera, Banana Verde restaurant manager. “By making the switch to cage-free eggs, we not only are respecting our customers’ concerns, but also improving animal welfare and helping the environment as well.”

California has also passed a law requiring that all whole eggs sold statewide be cage-free by 2015. Prominent multinational corporations from Burger King to Walmart supermarket chains also use cage-free eggs. Last year, another São Paulo based restaurant, Apfel, adopted a cage-free policy.

Facts

  • More than 90 percent of eggs in Brazil are produced by birds who spend almost their entire lives confined in small battery cages. More than 70 million hens are living in these conditions at any given time in Brazil.
  • While cage-free does not mean cruelty-free, cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than 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.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11.5 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the Web at hsi.org.

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