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McDonald's to study caging of hens

May 22, 2009 at 10:50 AM

CHICAGO, May 22 (UPI) -- The egg battle between Illinois-based McDonald's Corp. and the Humane Society will be put to a vote at next week's shareholders' meeting, the company says.

The Humane Society of the United States is urging passage of a resolution it submitted calling for all McDonald's restaurants to use eggs from cage-free hens, Crain's Chicago Business reported Friday.

The company is advising its shareholders to reject the resolution.

On Thursday, McDonald's announced that it will participate in a two-year study with one of its primary egg suppliers, Cargill, and several animal welfare scientists about alternatives to caging hens, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Most eggs produced in the United States come from chickens housed in pens shared by several birds, each getting less than 70 square inches of space.

Humane Society spokesman Paul Shapiro says the study will keep McDonald's from making the "same modest reforms its competitors have already adopted."

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