TAIPEI, May 21, 2022 – The Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) today joined a coalition of Asian animal protection organizations staging protests in eight cities in Asia to demand the company end its use of eggs from caged hens.
Across Asia, peaceful protestors hoisted banners, handed out flyers and held posters depicting the life of a caged hen. The banners featured handwritten messages of support from Asian consumers and were delivered to McDonald’s staff at the conclusion of the event. In Taiwan, protestors dressed in chicken costumes gathered outside a McDonald’s store in downtown Taipei, urging McDonald’s to heed the calls of Asian consumers.
The coordinated protest follows three months of consecutive actions outside McDonald’s stores. In Malaysia, activists held posters outside the country’s first McDonald’s in the capital’s humming nightlife district. In Hong Kong, staff emerged to chat with volunteers. In Thailand, a commuter ferry bearing the message “I wish McDonald’s was kinder” sails a canal adjacent to the company’s Bangkok headquarters.
McDonald’s is trailing its competitors on animal welfare
Hens on cage farms are crammed so tightly they are unable to fully stretch their wings or engage in natural behaviors such as nesting, dustbathing or perching. Research also shows that eggs from cage systems may also pose a higher risk of salmonella contamination.
McDonald’s rivals KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut have already announced timelines to phase out their use of cage eggs in Asia, as have Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Tim Hortons, Krispy Kreme, Panda Express and others.
“McDonald’s came dead last in our ranking of fast food chains last year, demonstrating the company increasingly stands alone in its failure to address this critical animal welfare issue” said Fang Chu Chune, researcher at EAST.
Leaving Asian customers behind
In its 2022 shareholder statement, McDonald’s claimed the company is using its “size and global reach” to improve the welfare of animals in its supply chain, going as far as to say its “ability to serve safe, quality food comes from animals that are cared for properly.”
Despite its public assurances, McDonald’s received an F grade for implementation in the latest Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare report and has dropped two tiers in the ranking since 2017. In contrast to its cage-free policies in the United States, Canada, Latin America, South Africa and other markets, the company has failed to respond to calls to extend its commitment to Asian markets.
“While McDonald’s boasts about using its global reach to improve animal welfare, it continues to discriminate against Asian consumers through its sourcing decisions” said Chune.
Consumers can join the campaign at GoCageFreeMcDonalds.org
Fang Chu Chune, Researcher
Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)
Mobile: 0923 177 193
Office: (02) 2236 9735
Hong Kong | Planet For All
Indonesia | Animal Friends Jogja & Sinergia Animal
Korea | Korean Animal Welfare Association
Malaysia | SPCA Selangor
Philippines | Animal Kingdom Foundation
Taiwan | Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)
Thailand | Sinergia Animal
Vietnam | Volunteer-led action