Petition for cage-free chicken policy pays off

Yolanda Guse from Durbanville and TV presenter Braam Malherbe.

Durbanville resident Yolanda Guse, along with four animal protection organisations, is thrilled that their calls for McDonald’s South Africa to adopt a cage-free-hens policy, has been heard.

The 23-year-old public relations student and the animal rights groups, Beauty without Cruelty SA, United Front 4 Animals (UFA), South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) and Animal Voice, have been petitioning McDonald’s since March 2016 (“Guse fights for caged hen’s rights,” Northern News Thursday April 28).

McDonald’s announced on Monday November 14 that it would make a full transition to cage-free eggs by 2025, in line with its counterparts in other parts of the world.

“Today, we are pleased to announce, ahead of the 12 month time frame we set for ourselves, that we will fully transition to cage-free eggs in all our restaurants across South Africa by 2025,” said McDonald’s South Africa CEO Greg Solomon.

“Starting in 2017, we will begin to phase in cage-free eggs to all of our restaurants. Our egg supplier has committed to providing us with quality, safe and a consistent supply at more than 10 percent per annum until all eggs we purchase are cage-free by 2025”.

Ms Guse said she was very happy with the decision. “One change can make a world of difference and it has just been proven. Never giving up and being passionate about a cause you believe in has allowed an amazing change to happen. Thank you, thank you, thank you, McDonald’s.”

SAFCEI spokesman Frank Molteno, welcomed the announcement, saying: “We congratulate McDonald’s on committing to a more caring, more responsible policy for the procurement of their eggs.”

The institute hoped to see other fast food chains following the example set by McDonald’s.

Toni Brockhoven, chairwoman of Beauty Without Cruelty, said: “While we do not encourage animal consumption, we do acknowledge the pledge made by a fast food giant, and we hope this will be the start of a serious and far- reaching change within the poultry industry, and pave the way for other fast food outlets to follow suit.”

To date, more than 18 000 people have supported the petition at

Ms Guse said if people understood the reality of what battery cage living for hens really meant, they would be disgusted and outraged.

“That is why we were so passionate about this cause and refused to back down.”