Tim Hortons Announces Move To End Caged Hens and Sow Stalls

Canada’s favorite coffee and doughnut stop is joining Burger King and McDonalds in the move toward more humane treatment of the animals that supply eggs and pork to the fast-food chains.

According to the company Web site, Tim Hortons will require suppliers to provide plans and timelines for phasing out gestation stalls for sows by the end of 2012. The enclosures are so small the pigs are unable to move around, let alone root, wallow, graze or give normal attention to their piglets.

By the end of 2013, the company also intends to buy at least 10% of their eggs from suppliers with enriched housing systems that “allow for natural hen behaviours such as nesting, scratching and perching, and similar housing systems are already the standard in the European Union.” That translates into some 10 million eggs that will come from more humane sources.

The volume of pork and eggs Tim Hortons sells creates challenges in moving toward more humane suppliers. Factory farming is the norm for the livestock industry. The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals estimates 98 percent of the country’s 26 million egg-laying hens are kept in battery cages and that “the vast majority” of Canada’s 1,440,000 sows are raised in stalls.

That means the supply of humanely raised chickens and sows is tiny in comparison with the demand for eggs and pork. While Tim Hortons’ announcement still leaves millions of animals in horrendous conditions, it is nevertheless a step in the right direction and further proof that consumer pressure can lead to change.

Related Care2 Stories

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McDonalds Says No to Sow Stalls

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Take a Moment, or a Month, to Appreciate Chickens

Horrific Conditions for Factory Farmed Chickens Exposed

Photo from Green Fire Productions via Flickr Creative Commons


Dale Overall

Interesting. There should be an end to factory farmed/caged meat sources as well as so many chemicals, additives, growth hormones added our foods.

The cries of vegans telling me to go vegan or vegetarian will go unheeded. Am not in the least interested until Mother Nature provides me an alternative to eating organic matter--we have not yet evolved to digest and survive on rock pate and even vegans must eat what was formerly alive.

Spiders will continue to liquify the insides of insects for their meals and tigers will continue to catch prey to survive.

Some vegans cry out with cult like invective aimed at any of us who eat meat and appeal to us to go vegan. Not interested and with so much of veggies being genetically modified one wonders where safe sources are-not everyone can afford to buy organic veggies and fruit.

The less processed everything is the better, the fewer caged and factory farms there are the more healthy the food will be.

Pamela Daccolti
Pamela Daccolti5 years ago

Anyone want to know something that will make you feel great each & everyday? Stop eating meat & take pride in the knowledge that none of these precious creatures are suffering & dying to FEED YOU!!! Isn't that just the best reason to become a vegetarian??!! If we can't slap the look of joy off the faces of these creeps as they viciously beat & stomp these poor animals, we can rescue their victims!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Great news!

sherry l.
sherry luciano5 years ago

I stopped eating beef because with my new territory I pass 4 feed lots. I buy eggs from private farmers and I look up how the animal is raised and treated (no Corp farms). I also do this when I go out to eat checking everything. Everyone has to check were their food comes from.Takes a little time but well worth it.

Marieanne Phillips
Marie-Anne P5 years ago

About bloody time animals are considered and compassion is not only talked about but followed through.

Carrie Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne B5 years ago

good news thanks for sharing :)

Julia R.
Julia R5 years ago

I’m glad to see that Tim Hortons is finally showing concern for the humane treatment of farm animals by putting some pressure on their suppliers to phase out gestation crates for pigs used by large factory farms to raise and keep these animals- these poor animals who never even have access to fresh air, pasture, and have such little space that they can’t even turn around let alone engage in natural behaviors.
By the end of 2013 as this article states, the company will source only 10 percent of their eggs from more humane suppliers. This is a very small percentage!

It is a sad state of affairs that almost all animals in Canada are raised in factory farms. In fact, as this article states it is the norm. "The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals estimates 98 percent of the country’s 26 million egg-laying hens are kept in battery cages and that “the vast majority” of Canada’s 1,440,000 sows are raised in stalls.” There are very few family farms which raise their animals in more humane conditions- where they can be outdoors, graze, and engage in natural behaviors.

I hope that with public pressure, that these changes will occur but more rapidly once they begun, and that we will see more family farms replacing these large cafos that are so inhumane for the animals and so unhealthy for our environment- and hopefully, many will be forced to close down with a more enlightened public demanding improved living conditions for farms animals!

Mark Donners
Mark D5 years ago

The best solution for planet Earth is to phase out humans..it can be done humanely with spay and neuter programs.

Shanie Mangulins
Shanie Mangulin5 years ago

Hooray! Now all that Timmy's has to do is put the quality of their brewed coffee back to the era of the beginning of the Tim Horton's outlets! Timmy's did do its part to help out in the present financial situation - Tim Horton's did not raise the price of its coffee, it just shrunk the size of its cups...the large is now the size of the medium, the medium is the size of the small & so on... Oh well, we can't have everything... I wonder if Tim Horton & Ron Joyce are spinning in their graves...?
I applaud the corporation's move towards supporting more humane treatment of farm animals.

James S.
james S5 years ago

Good news - I hope that it doesn't resemble the "free range" treatment where animals are taken out of enclosures but still miserable and cramped. There's one definite way to make sure that farmed animals aren't miserable - don't eat them unless it's necessary and for most, it's not. As long as demand is there, humans will find ways to torture for profit.