Georgetown will be discontinuing its use of eggs from caged birds in favor of cage-free eggs in its resident dining facilities, Georgetown announced in a U.S Humane Society press release Wednesday.

University dining halls and convenience stores use over 1.5 million eggs annually, according to the release.

Paul Shapiro, manager of the Factory Farming Campaign for the Humane Society, praised the administration’s dedication to what he said was the fight to end animal cruelty with its decision to switch to cage-free eggs.

“Eggs that come from caged birds represent a type of animal cruelty which is really pervasive throughout the factory farming industry,” Shapiro said. “The fact that Georgetown is switching to cage-free eggs indicates how seriously the school is in dealing with the issue of animal cruelty.”

Michael Basile, director of food and beverage for the university, expressed pride in Georgetown’s decision to switch to cage-free eggs in the Humane Society press release.

“Georgetown University is deeply concerned about animal welfare and consequently proud of our switch to cage-free eggs,” Basile said.

While acknowledging that cage-free eggs are slightly more expensive than the eggs that come from caged birds, Shapiro emphasized the importance of using products that are not produced through animal cruelty.

“Generally, cage-free eggs are slightly more expensive, but the hidden cost of caged eggs is animal cruelty,” Shapiro said. “Most students are willing to pay a few pennies more to make sure that they aren’t supporting this inhumane treatment.”

The move to cage-free eggs came nearly eight months after advocates for the switch began petitioning the university.

“We starting working with some of the students in June of 2005,” said Shapiro. “They began to petition dining services at the university in order to make a change.”

The Humane Society has provided officials from Georgetown Dining Services with a list of “Certified Humane” egg producers, Shapiro added.

Georgetown is not the only school making the switch to cage-free eggs. More than 70 other colleges and universities in the United States, including Washington, D.C., neighbors George Washington University and American University, are phasing out their use of caged eggs or have eliminated their use completely, according to the Society’s release.

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