Shareholders for McDonald's voted against a proposal this spring to buy at least 5 percent of the restaurant chain's eggs from cage-free facilities.
The Humane Society of the United States, which owns 101 shares in the company and sponsored the resolution, similarly proposed at the 2009 annual shareholders meeting that McDonald's start transitioning to purchasing eggs produced in cage-free facilities.
In the recent proposal, the HSUS argued that cages provide for inadequate animal welfare and that McDonald's Corp.'s U.S. operations had fallen behind competitors and the company's own European operations in transitioning toward purchases of eggs from cage-free hens.
McDonald's board of directors recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal. The board argued that there is no agreement in the scientific community on how to balance advantages and disadvantages of hen housing systems and noted that the company is part of a coalition involved in an ongoing study of hen housing.