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PNS Daily News- February 15, 2019 


Shutdown averted and a national emergency declaration; A push in Iowa for virtual caucus attendance for 2020 primaries; and concerns about legislation that could hide oil pipeline records. Those stories and more in today’s news.

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Major TN Grocer Will Sell Only Cage-Free Eggs by 2025

Cage-free poultry farms are growing in Tennessee and the rest of the country, because of major retailers such as Kroger announcing they will limit their egg sales to cage-free production. (CowgirlJules/flickr.com)
Cage-free poultry farms are growing in Tennessee and the rest of the country, because of major retailers such as Kroger announcing they will limit their egg sales to cage-free production. (CowgirlJules/flickr.com)
March 7, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Animal rights groups are calling it "egg-cellent" news.

Kroger – with at least 50 locations in Tennessee – is joining a growing list of businesses committing to sell only cage free eggs.

In a statement, the grocer says it is making the change because its "customer base has been moving to cage-free at an increasing rate."

Jaya Bhumitra, director of corporate outreach for animal welfare group Mercy for Animals, says as large retailers make the shift and suppliers have to accommodate, there is likely to be a shift across the industry.

"So what that really signifies for all of us, is that when the two largest grocers in the nation are making this change, that means that the end is in sight," she states.

Earlier this year Giant, Stop and Shop, Costco, Target, Trader Joe's and BJ's Wholesale Club also made similar announcements.

Activists say that on farms that cage their egg producing chickens, the birds are often kept in tight, cage-wired quarters where laying hens are living alongside dead hens.

Bhumitra says conditions are dire for the birds that live in caged production facilities.

"These birds literally cannot walk,” she points out. “They cannot spread their wings. They're packed six to eight in a cage.

“If the biggest businesses in this industry can make this change, then all of the others can as well, and they need to because they will be at a competitive disadvantage if they don't."

Egg production in Tennessee is a $44 million industry, according to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the poultry industry in the state produced 341 million eggs in 2014, the most recent data available.


Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN