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VHS responds to Tim Hortons announcement on animal welfare

VHS issued the following news release in response to Tim Hortons’ announcement of an animal welfare initiative:

May 4, 2012

Tim Hortons responds to customer demands for more humane eggs and pork

Under mounting pressure from animal welfare organizations and consumers, Tim Hortons announced today it will call on its pork suppliers to eliminate the gestation confinement breeding sows and that it plans to purchase at least 10 per cent of its eggs from enriched caging systems by the end of 2013.

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) still feels Tim Hortons’ initiative falls short of making necessary improvements to animal welfare, particularly in regards to egg-laying hens. Through VHSs online petition* on Change.Org, more than 30,000 people have urged Tim Hortons to stop the use of cages and crates for hens and sows.

VHS is pleased that Tim Hortons is sending a strong message to the pork industry that change is needed to get animals out of tiny crates,” said Leanne McConnachie, Director of the Vancouver Humane Societys Farm Animal Programs. “Like many consumers nationwide, we are disappointed that the company still refuses to use any cage-free eggs though.”

Approximately 26 million hens produce Canada’s egg supply, and Tim Hortons 10 per cent commitment will only affect about 35,000 hens – the equivalent size of the average battery cage barn. In B.C. alone, more than 300,000 hens are raised in cage-free systems such as free-run, free-range and organic free-range.  Most of Tim Hortons’ competitors have opted to purchase eggs from farms using cage-free systems.

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