Trillium News

Resolution on Farm Animal Welfare at McDonald's to be Moved at Annual Shareholder Meeting(A)

For Immediate Release:March 25, 2002Contact:Bruce Friedrich (PETA) 757-622-7382, ext. 1342Simon Billenness (Trillium Asset Management) 617-423-6655, ext. 225SEC ALLOWS RESOLUTION BY MCDONALD’S SHAREHOLDERS ON FARMED ANIMAL WELFARE Vote to Take Place at May 17 Annual Meeting Oak Brook, Ill. In a move that could affect all of McDonald’s 29,000 restaurants worldwide, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ruled in favor of a resolution to allow shareholders to vote to extend the company’s animal welfare guidelines beyond the U.S. and the U.K.The resolution was filed by PETA and Trillium Asset Management, the Boston-based social investment firm. McDonald’s had challenged the resolution, claiming that the company’s “guiding principles” already apply internationally. However, the SEC agreed with PETA that, although the principles were stated, they were never acted upon.McDonald’s failure to adhere to its own principles is precisely why, in 1999, PETA launched a year-long campaign against the company, which ended with the fast-food giant’s acceptance of upgraded standards for the care and slaughter of animals killed to fill its restaurants’ menus. McDonald’s has currently limited implementation of the standards to its American and British operations only.The new guidelines include increasing the size of chicken cages; phasing out debeaking and forced-molting (starving chickens to make them produce more eggs); exploring more humane conditions for breeding sows who are normally kept in concrete stalls so small, they can barely move for months on end; and auditing suppliers for compliance. PETA points out in the resolution that McDonald’s has more than 1,500 restaurants in Latin America, where farm-animal welfare standards are virtually nonexistent.“We appreciate McDonald’s animal welfare efforts in the U.S. and U.K., but the corporation must now internationalize these standards,” says PETA Vegan Campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich. “Whether it’s Topeka or Tijuana, San Diego or San Salvador, abuse is still abuse.”“We expect corporations in which we invest to meet the highest standards of farmed animal welfare. McDonald’s customers increasingly expect this, too,” stated Simon Billenness, senior analyst at Trillium Asset Management. “It is simply good business for McDonald’s to be a leader in tackling the abuse of farm animals.”More information on PETA’s campaigns against fast-food outlets is available at,, and More information on Trillium Asset Management is available at