West Virginia University’s Dining Services has taken the sustainable initiative to switch from conventional cage eggs to certified humane cage-free eggs.

Dining Services made the change after finding a source for the certified humane cage-free eggs. The Certified Humane program is a national non-profit organization created to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. The “Raised and Handled” program is a certification and labeling program that is the only animal welfare label requiring the humane treatment of farm animals from birth through slaughter.

Kathy Curtin, assistant director for Residential Dining, said the change has been considered for a number of years due to the concerns of current and former students about the living conditions for chickens living in battery cages. Curtin says that these cages are very small and do not allow for much movement or natural behavior.

“A few students have approached us over the last couple of years requesting the change, and we did a lot of research before deciding to make the switch,” Curtin said. “We found that there are good and bad battery (caged) and cage-free producers. Only recently have certified humane, cage-free shell eggs been available at a reasonable cost through our food service distributors.”

It is important to demonstrate sustainable and ethical choices to WVU students, Curtin said.

“We feel that it is important to continue to make our operation and WVU more sustainable,” Curtin said. “This is just one of the steps that we can take to move in that direction.”

This effort is another example of furthering sustainability at an institutional level lead by innovators across WVU. All residence hall dining halls and the Mountainlair student union have switched to cage-free eggs. The residence halls use an estimated 90 dozen eggs per week.

For more information, please visit http://diningservices.wvu.edu/, http://wecan.wvu.edu, and http://certifiedhumane.org.



CONTACT: Kathy Curtin, WVU Dining Services
304-293-2096, Kathy.Curtin@mail.wvu.edu