Animal welfare proponents are crowing over a victory after the supermarket Kvickly has decided to stop selling eggs from caged hens.
Politiken newspaper reports that as of Monday August 19, Kvickly customers will no longer be able to purchase caged eggs in its 76 stores nationwide.
"For us, it is about acting responsibly, and many of our customers want that as well," the director of the chain, Jesper Faurholdt, told Politiken. "And this here is one of the areas where we could do more for animal welfare."
Eggs from caged chickens are cheaper for consumers, but the eggs come from chickens who have to share one square metre of space with up to a dozen others. They have no access to the outdoors or natural light.
The Danish animal welfare society, Dyrenes Beskyttelse, recently told The Copenhagen Post that the dominance of eggs from caged chickens can perhaps be blamed on a lack of public awareness about the chickens’ living conditions. The organisation has been raising awareness about the living standards of caged hens and was pleased to hear that Kvickly is pulling caged eggs from its shelves.
"We want to see the hens out of their cages, so we think that Kvickly is taking a fantastic initiative and a serious responsibility as a retailer," Dyrenes Beskyttelse's Britta Riis told Politiken. "This will decrease the demand for caged eggs, which in the long run will benefit some hens."
A recent poll conducted by YouGov for Dyrenes Beskyttelse showed strong consumer support for doing away with caged eggs. Fifty-three percent of respondents said retailers should stop selling the eggs, while only 29 percent said the sale should continue.
Riis hopes that other supermarkets will follow Kvickly's lead.
"We hope that this will create a trend so that supermarkets begin to take their responsibility for animal welfare seriously," she told Politiken.