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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
McDonald's praised for happy cows
Cows
Cattle are 'mooved' by McDonald's kind treatment
Burger giant McDonald's has won an award for its humane animal treatment.

Firms which promote better treatment of animals were recognised this week at the RSPCA's first Alternative Awards held at the Natural History Museum.

McDonald's was praised for changing egg suppliers to those that use only free range eggs, and its cattle handling standards also drew RSPCA plaudits.

Now McDonald's can use the RSPCA's logo to identify it as a business committed to higher welfare standards.

'Blazing a trail'

Awards were presented to the country's best achievers in the treatment of animals category.

The important thing is not that you're killing the cattle, it's how you're actually killing the cattle
David Bowles, RSPCA

Other companies awarded were Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop, Lush, Neal's Yard Remedies, Norfolk food retailer Samphire and the Owl and the Pussycat Restaurant in Teignmouth, Devon.

"These companies are blazing a trail for animal welfare by putting kindness and social responsibility at the heart of their business model," said RSPCA director general, Jackie Ballard.

"Each of these award winners have demonstrated their commitment to combat cruel practice, and for that we applaud them."

'Killing cattle'

The world's oldest animal welfare charity insisted there was no discrepancy between McDonald's beef burgers lying inside a sesame seed bun, and animal welfare.

"The important thing is not that you're killing the cattle, it's how you're actually killing the cattle," David Bowles, head of external affairs at the RSPCA, told the BBC.

"The RSPCA is not a vegetarian organisation. The RSPCA is an organisation that is there to improve animal welfare."

Not only do McDonald's use free range eggs in their buns, they also use them in their mayonnaise "which is very important" said the RSPCA.

If companies are serious about animal welfare it could help boost the profits as consumer pressure grows for firms to act more humanely towards the animal kingdom, it said.


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