Dalai Lama Urges Switch to Cage-Free Eggs

In a press statement issued in Washington, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader urges consumers not to buy eggs produced by chickens raised in cages.

Egg farming in the United States has become a huge industry, with many chickens spending their entire lives in cages so small they cannot spread their wings.

In his statement distributed by the U.S. Humane Society, the Dalai Lama says he has always been "particularly concerned" about how these animals are treated.

He says "switching to cage-free eggs would reduce the suffering of these animals."

Egg production has come under scrutiny in the United States after an outbreak of salmonella poisoning that has sickened some 1,300 people.

The source of the poisoning has been traced to two huge chicken farms in the central state of Iowa. The two farms have recalled more than 500 million eggs.

Some information for this report was provided by Media Newswire, AFP and Timeslive