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Australia - Crack in Factory Farming

[Brisbane Times - opinion]

A decision by McDonald's and Woolworths to increase free-range egg use spells doom for animal-cruelty offenders, Ondine Sherman writes.
In years to come, intensive "factory" farmers may look back on Friday, August 14, as the day that marked the beginning of their downward spiral and eventual demise.

Woolworths' decision to reduce its product lines of battery eggs and to replace them with barn-laid and free-range eggs was announced on Friday, followed shortly by the McDonald's resolution, reported on Sunday, to move its Australian operation towards using free-range eggs.

These small steps might seem insignificant. However, together, they signal a seismic shift in Australia's attitude to animal welfare.

Since the start of the Australian animal protection movement in the late 1970s (with Peter Singer's groundbreaking book Animal Liberation), advocates have been campaigning to get hens out of cages.
The decision by Woolworths and McDonald's might seem small and safe to those of us who reject cruelty for profit but, as a famous saying goes, "A journey of 1000 miles must begin with a single step."

Ondine Sherman is a director of animal protection institute Voiceless.

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