BJ’s will sell only cage-free eggs by 2022

The Massachusetts-based company made the announcement as the state prepares to weigh a law that would make cage-free eggs mandatory.

–AP

BJ’s Wholesale Club is the latest company to announce plans to phase out the sale of eggs from hens kept in small cages in the next several years.

The Westborough-based chain announced Tuesday that it will exclusively sell cage-free eggs by 2022. Liquid egg products will come from cage-free sources by 2025, the company also said in a news release.

Massachusetts voters are expected to see a ballot question later this year that, if approved, would require egg sellers to shift to all cage-free products by 2022.

The law would require that all eggs come from farms that offer at least 1.5 square feet of usable floor space per hen. It would also ban the sale of pork or veal from animals kept in small crates that do not allow for movement.

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BJ’s spokeswoman Maria Fruci declined to say whether the company supports the initiative.

“At this time, BJ’s is focused on meeting our commitment of transitioning our entire supply of whole, shell eggs from cage-free farms sold by 2022 and sourcing our liquid eggs from cage-free farms by 2025,’’ she said in a statement Wednesday.

The company announced the cage-free transition in tandem with the Humane League, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that advocates for animal welfare. The Humane League is among the animal rights groups backing the ballot question campaign, Citizens for Farm Animal Protection, which has raised more than $1 million.

BJ’s joins several fast food companies—including Canton-based Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks—in announcing plans to transition to cage-free eggs, with targeted goals ranging by company from 2017 to 2025.

BJ’s operates more than 200 stores along the east coast.

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