Asia-wide protests against McDonald’s use of cage eggs

23-05-2022 | |
Protest action in Taipei, Taiwan. Photo: Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)
Protest action in Taipei, Taiwan. Photo: Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)

A coalition of Asian animal protection organisations protested outside numerous McDonald’s sites across Asia, calling for the franchise to “be kinder to animals”, specifically to hens that produce the eggs used by the chain.

The protests marked an escalation of the animal protection organisations’ 9-month campaign to demand the company end its use of caged eggs in Asia. The protests, coordinated by members of the Open Wing Alliance, took place at McDonald’s sites in Bangkok, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul and Taipei.

In Kuala Lumpur, activists held posters outside the country’s first McDonald’s in the nightlife district, while in Bangkok, a 20-metre commuter ferry with caged hens’ shuttles was displayed nearby McDonald’s local headquarters.

Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Sinergia Animal
Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Sinergia Animal

McDonald’s is falling behind its competitors

McDonald’s rivals KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut have announced plans to phase out the use of eggs from caged hens in Asia, as have Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Tim Hortons, Krispy Kreme, Panda Express and others.

“McDonald’s is increasingly out of step with its competitors in failing to take concrete action to eliminate cage cruelty from its supply chain in Asia,” said Wichayapat Piromsan, public affairs director for Southeast Asia at Sinergia Animal and coordinator of the regional campaign.

Hong Kong. Photo: Planet For All
Hong Kong. Photo: Planet For All

Leaving Asian customers behind

According to Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST), 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 2 tiers in the ranking since 2017. “In contrast to its cage-free policies in the US, Canada, Latin America, South Africa and other markets, the company has failed to respond to calls to extend its commitment to Asian markets,” the press release added.

“While McDonald’s boasts about using its global reach to improve animal welfare, in reality its sourcing decisions force millions of hens to live miserable lives in Asia, without the ability to engage in their most basic natural behaviours,” added Piromsan.

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Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist