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February 9, 2011

HSI Praises Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai for Leadership in Animal Welfare

Humane Society International/India

MUMBAI (Feb. 9, 2011)—Humane Society International commends Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai for switching to cage-free eggs. In doing so, the hotel joins an international movement against the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages.

Most egg-laying hens in India are confined in battery cages that provide each bird less space than a standard sized sheet of paper to spend her entire life. “By not using eggs from caged hens, Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai has taken an important stand against one of the most inhumane factory farming abuses,” said N.G. Jayasimha, manager of HSI’s factory farming campaign in India.

Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai’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. California has also passed a law requiring that all whole eggs sold statewide be cage-free by 2015. In the state of Ohio, agriculture leaders agreed to a moratorium on the construction of new battery-cage egg facilities.

Prominent United States corporations from Burger King to Safeway are switching to cage-free eggs. In India, Crowne Plaza Today-Gurgaon, specialty restaurant Hao Shi Nian Nian and Chef Mako Ravindran have shifted to cage-free eggs.

Facts

  • India’s factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in barren battery cages. Each bird lives within a space smaller than a single standard sized sheet of paper for more than a year before slaughter.
  • 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.

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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 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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