MIAMI, April 25 (UPI) -- The Humane Society of the United States claimed a victory Wednesday as Burger King said it would switch to buying eggs from cage-free sources.
"What this does is send a clear message to these industries that their customers and the public don't want animals confined for their entire lives in cages. They will have to make changes," CNNMoney quoted food policy director for the Humane Society Matt Prescott as saying.
The United Egg Producers, an industry trade group, countered that eggs from cage-free hens creates a larger "carbon footprint," leads to health problems and costs more than eggs from caged birds. Prescott, however, said a UEP study shows the added costs are not as steep as the trade group now says.
The group claims that production costs rise 25 percent with cage-free hens and that the cost of eggs triples.
"If retailers are jacking the price up for people who want cage-free eggs, that's not representative of the costs. I think what Burger King is doing is going to open the market up for cage-free producers and consumers who want that product," Prescott said.
Then there is the purely humane side to the argument.
"It doesn't take a scientist to look at five to eight animals crammed into a cage the size of a file cabinet drawer and say this is wrong," Prescott said.