Tesco chided over continued use of battery hens

28-04-2008

Tesco chided over continued use of battery hens
Tesco has suffered the ignominy of being awarded a campaign group's Rotten Egg award for failing to cut down on its use of hens in battery cages.

The supermarket giant has been named as the UK's worst offender on the unethical egg production market by Compassion in World Farming.

A statement from the charity said that, as Britain's largest supermarket chain, Tesco could free 1.3 million birds from cages each year if it switched to barn and free-range eggs.

In response a company spokesman championed Tesco's ethical and organic credentials

"We have reduced the shelf space given to eggs from caged hens and have introduced clearer marking of eggs from caged hens on the front of the packs," he said.

But the representative added: "That said we do serve a broad range of customers so we will continue to offer a range of standard eggs that are all clearly labelled so that shoppers can make an informed choice.

"We always listen to customers and many of them tell us they are on a tight budget and rely on us to provide affordable good quality food."

According to Compassion in World Farming, 62 per cent of the UK's estimated 27 million egg-laying hens are kept in battery cages.

Now in their second year, the Good Egg awards, due to be handed out tomorrow, will congratulate Cadbury Schweppes and Unilever for switching to free-range eggs in Crème Eggs and Hellman's Mayonnaise respectively.

The charity's chief executive Philip Lymbery called on UK companies lagging behind the awards' recipients to "ditch the cage... wake up and act now".

Click here for more information on the Good Eggs awards

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