In 2008, Compassion recognised McDonald’s with a Good Egg Award for committing to source only cage-free eggs for all their European outlets by 2012. The number of chickens set to benefit annually from this policy is 400,000.
Regrettably, McDonald’s in the USA appears not to be keeping up with their European counterparts.
A recent undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals (MfA) documented shocking animal cruelty at the farms of one of the suppliers to McDonald’s in the USA.
Hidden-camera footage detailed hens crammed into filthy wire cages unable to stretch their wings. Investigators caught on tape workers burning off the beaks of young chicks without any painkiller and then callously throwing them into cages. The bodies of decomposing hens were found alongside hens still laying eggs for human consumption.
Compassion applauds McDonald’s in Europe for their enlightened animal welfare policies. But we condemn the treatment of chickens in the USA as documented by Mercy for Animals.
We will work with MfA and other American animal protection organisations as well as McDonald’s USA to ensure they implement the same animal welfare policies as their European colleagues. It’s encouraging to see McDonald’s recognise the issues raised by MfA’s investigation. It said the video documented behaviour which was ‘disturbing and completely unacceptable’ and dropped the company as one of its egg suppliers.