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Hilton Hotels Go "Cage-Free"

Hilton Worldwide says it will begin to eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying hens and gestation crates for breeding pigs from its global supply chain. Credit: gellinger/Pixabay.com.
Hilton Worldwide says it will begin to eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying hens and gestation crates for breeding pigs from its global supply chain. Credit: gellinger/Pixabay.com.
April 8, 2015

BALTIMORE - Hilton Worldwide, one of the largest resort and hotel chains in the world, has announced it will eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying hens and gestation crates for breeding pigs from its global supply chain.

This is a major victory for animal welfare, said Josh Balk, senior food policy director of the Humane Society of the United States. His organization partnered with Hilton on the issue.

"Most egg-laying chickens are confined in cages and are unable to engage in vital natural behaviors," he said. "On the pork side, most mother pigs are confined in what are known as gestation crates. These are cages so small the mother pigs can't turn around for virtually their entire lives."

Hotels and resorts that fall under the Hilton umbrella, including Doubletree by Hilton brands and Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, will be required to switch to cage-free eggs by Dec. 31, 2017, and all pork products must be purchased from suppliers that house breeding pigs in groups rather than gestation crates by the end of 2018.

Balk said people often ask why it takes years to make the changes.

"It just takes often several years," he said, "to change how literally millions and oftentimes tens of millions of animals are raised for food."

In a written statement, Jennifer Silberman, vice president for corporate responsibility for Hilton Worldwide, said, "With more than 2,000 restaurants in our global footprint, our goal is to have a considerable impact on sustainable sourcing in our industry, as well as drive humane treatment of animals throughout our supply chain."

Last year, Hilton announced a global ban on the sale of shark fin in all of its owned and managed properties.

Deborah Courson Smith/Dallas Heltzell, Public News Service - MD