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ANKENY, Iowa -- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is calling on Casey's General Stores to change its purchasing practices for eggs. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the society, sent a letter urging the convenience store chain to stop sourcing its eggs from Rose Acre Farms and instead switch to cage-free eggs.
Last week, the HSUS said it revealed severe animal welfare and food safety concerns documented through undercover investigations at Rose Acre Farms. Casey's General Stores -- which has nearly 1,500 stores throughout the Midwest -- sells roughly 1 million eggs per year, all of which come from Rose Acre Farms, according to the group.
"The exposé uncovered Rose Acre employees roughly handling birds, forcing animals to live in cages with the mummified carcasses of dead birds, and overseeing hens with prolapsed uteruses (among other problems)," Pacelle wrote in his letter to Bob Myers, president and CEO of Casey's. "Based on this exposé of your sole egg supplier, I hope we can discuss the possibility of Casey's reconsidering its decision not to switch to cage-free eggs. In fact, numerous major companies -- including Walmart, Costco, Hellmann's and Burger King -- have made progress in this area already," he continued.
HSUS said its staff has been in communication with Casey's executives since July 2009.
According to the group, U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in barren cages so small that the animals can't even spread their wings. Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens, the HSUS said.
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