Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the U.S., announced Tuesday that it will begin transitioning to a 100 percent cage-free egg supply chain by 2025.
The move that also applies to Sam’s Club is part of the retail giant’s commitment to improving its animal-welfare policies.
Along with transitioning to a 100 percent cage-free egg supply, Walmart also will require its egg suppliers to be certified and fully compliant with United Egg Producers Animal Husbandry Guidelines, or an equivalent standard. And it also will monitor compliance through a third party.
The company said it will challenge suppliers to use selective breeding practices, innovation and best-management practices to improve the health and welfare of laying hens.
Animal welfare experts say a majority of hens that lay eggs for U.S. consumers, about 290 million in 2015, are confined in cages so small they cannot engage in basic, necessary behaviors like spreading their wings, perching or laying their eggs in nests.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals worked with Walmart on the changes to its policies.