Burger King has announced that all its eggs and pork will come from cage-free animals by 2017. Currently, reports the Associated Press, 9 percent of its eggs and 20 percent of its pork come from cage-free animals.

The company said that it has been increasing its use of cage-free eggs and pork as more producers have been able to meet the demand, said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer. He said the decision is part of the company's social responsibility policy.

"We believe this decision will allow us to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers," he said.

The decision was praised by the Humane Society of the United States, which has been pushing Burger King and other foodservice operators to adopt cage-free policies. McDonald's and Wendy's have asked their pork suppliers to outline plans for eliminating gestation crates, but those companies have not set timelines.

"So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions," said Wayne Pacelle, president of the HSUS. "Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products."

Source: AP, USA Today