Pedestrians pass a Subway restaurant on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, U.S., on Thursday, August 27, 2015.
Photograph by Michael Nagle— Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Reuters
December 28, 2015

Dec 28 (Reuters) – Sandwich chain Subway said it would stop using eggs laid by caged hens in its North American outlets by 2025, joining a number of companies that are going cage-free amid pressure from consumers and animal-rights groups.

Subway, which already serves eggs laid by cage-free hens at its outlets in Europe, said it has already begun using such eggs in select areas in the United States and Canada.

The restaurant chain, owned by Doctors Associates Inc, has more than 30,000 outlets in North America.

The decision comes at a time when the food industry is under pressure from groups including the Humane Society of the United States, Mercy for Animals and World Animal Protection, which have successfully lobbied many companies to adopt animal welfare practices.

Both General Mills Inc and Kellogg Co said earlier this year they will source 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025.

Fast-food companies have made similar announcements. McDonald’s Corp said in September that its 16,000 U.S. and Canadian restaurants would serve only eggs laid by cage-free chickens within 10 years, while rival Burger King has committed to using such eggs by 2017.

Starbucks Corp said in October that it would also make the switch in North America within five years.

(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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