MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Target has announced that it is working this year to increase its offerings of cage-free egg products in stores across the country, with a goal of having 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025.

The announcement came Tuesday on the Minneapolis-based retailer’s Twitter news feed.

In a press release, the company forwarded a statement from the President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Parcelle. He praised Target’s efforts and said the shift in how society sees food and agriculture will soon make battery cages into artifacts of the past, like the reaper or threshing machine.

“In a nation riven with partisan divisions, improving farm animals’ often-miserable lives has emerged as a universal value,” he said, adding: “We’ll look back on the use of [battery cages], and wonder how they could have lasted so long, and how good people could have tolerated their use.”

The move for Target and other companies, such as General Mills, ConAgra and Dunkin’ Donuts, comes after McDonald’s vowed to go cage-free in September. The fast-food chain, which buys two billion eggs a year, is also looking to be totally cage-free by 2025.

Other companies with recent cage-free commitments include Quiznos, Barilla, Campbell Soup, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Mondelez, the maker of Oreos, Toblerone chocolate bars and Chips Ahoy! cookies.

While Parcelle notes that cage-free doesn’t mean cruelty-free, he says it’s a step in the right direction.

“Cage-free hens, even in indoor barns, have at least double the amount of space per bird as caged hens, and often much more space than that,” he said. “In addition, they have the ability to walk, spread their wings, perch, lay their eggs in a nesting area, and more.”

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