October 9, 2012
On World Egg Day, Costa Rican Consumers Should Know about Welfare of Laying Hens
Humane Society International encourages Costa Rica consumers to take steps to improve the treatment of egg-laying hens in conventional egg production.
Costa Rica has approximately three million egg-laying hens, many confined in barren battery cages. In these small wire cages, each hen spends practically her entire life in a living area smaller than a single sheet of letter-sized paper. Hens do not have enough space to fully spread their wings and are denied nearly all natural behaviors, including nesting, perching and dustbathing, all of which are critically important to the hen. Such intensive confinement also contributes to physical ailments, including osteoporosis, feather loss, and reproductive and liver problems.
“All animals deserve humane treatment, including animals raised for food,” said Cynthia Dent, Regional Director for HSI-Latin America. “Costa Ricans can help improve the treatment of egg-laying hens with their food choices.”
Eggs that meet higher animal welfare standards, such as those labeled as cage-free, are available at many supermarkets and organic farmers markets, as well as a growing number of socially-responsible restaurants in the San José area and tourist destinations such as Puerto Viejo, Montezuma and Santa Teresa.
- Under natural conditions, a hen experiences strong nesting instincts and locates a remote, private place in which she carefully builds a nest. Alternatives to barren battery cage housing offer higher welfare for laying hens and are already used successfully around the world.
- The European Union has outlawed the use of conventional battery cages for hens.
- In the United States, The Humane Society of the United States has reached an agreement with the trade association representing the egg industry to jointly support federal legislation phasing out barren battery cage housing and phasing in animal welfare and consumer labeling improvements.
- Eggs labeled as cage-free are available in Costa Rica, at organic farmers markets and supermarkets such as Jumbo, Perimercado, Auto Mercado, Más x Menos, Walmart, Green Center, Viandas and Natura Mercado Orgánico.
Restaurants that offer eggs labeled as cage-free in Costa Rica:
San José área:
Alquimia Healthy, 2282-2641 (Santa Ana)
Buena Tierra, 2288-0342 (Escazú)
Café de los Deseos, 2222-0496 (San José)
Café Kracovia, 2253-9093 (San Pedro de Montes de Oca)
Jardín del Parque, 2248-4979 (San José) Oasis, 2228-4876
(Escazú) Veggie House, 2280-9949 (San Pedro de Montes de Oca)
Outside of San José:
Montezuma: Anamaya, Café Orgánico, Amor de Mar, Playa de los Artistas
Santa Teresa: Florblanca, Shambala (Trópico Latino), Nautilus
Tambor: Los Delfines
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca: Bread & Chocolate, La Botánica Orgánica, Lizard King Resort
Cahuita: Magellan Inn
Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 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.