“Intercontinental Hotels Group latest company to go cage-free in New Zealand, and globally”November 5th, 2016
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has announced they will use only cage-free eggs worldwide by 2025. IHG operates seven hotels in New Zealand under the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental brands.
This latest announcement is part of a worldwide movement to free hens from cages. Animal advocacy group SAFE is in coalition with other animal groups in the Open Wing Alliance (OWA), whose members are facilitating change with egg retailers worldwide. SAFE worked with other members of the OWA to enable this positive global change.
The move to stop using cage eggs brings IHG into line with hundreds of large international food retailers doing the same thing. In New Zealand restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have also made the commitment.
There is strong public condemnation of factory farming with over 70% of the New Zealand public opposed to new-style colony cages for hens, says SAFE.
“This is a very positive step forward, showing that businesses are listening to compassionate people.” says Mandy Carter, SAFE head of campaigns. “It is now imperative that other companies step up and take action too or risk being left behind in a global shift to cage-free.”
Thousands of caring Kiwis, have been asking supermarket chain Countdown to become the next retailer to go cage-free. A call that has so far fallen on deaf ears. Countdown, which sells one in five eggs sold in New Zealand, has recently announced an “Egg Producer Programme” to increase their supply of cage-free eggs but has not made a commitment to go totally cage-free, as their parent company Woolworths in Australia has already committed to doing.
Hens live a life of misery in cages. Natural behaviour for a hen includes walking, wing flapping, nesting and dust bathing, perching, pecking and scratching – all of which are denied or severely restricted in a colony cage. The health of these birds is frequently poor, with brittle bones weakened from lack of movement.
“Kiwis care about animals, with the vast majority wanting an end to cruel cages. We are falling behind the rest of the world and it’s time for Countdown to stop dragging their feet and name their phase out date for cage eggs,” says Ms Carter.