MCLEAN, Va. - Hilton Worldwide has joined the ranks of a growing list of meat and poultry processors retailers and foodservice companies who have announced their intent to eliminate the use of gestation crates for breeding pigs and the use of cages for egg-laying chickens in their food supply chain.

Initially all hotels in the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton brands will be required to switch all egg usage to cage-free by Dec. 31, 2017, ensuring that chickens are not confined in cages. All pork products must be purchased from suppliers that house breeding pigs in groups rather than gestation crates by Dec. 31, 2018.

These changes will initially apply in 19 countries where products are currently available and will be adopted in additional markets as supply comes online. These actions are part of the company's global responsible sourcing strategy, which includes a focus on animal welfare. Last year, Hilton announced a global ban of the sale of shark fin in all owned and managed properties as a part of this mission.

"We are committed to addressing key issues throughout our business and supply chain and responsibly serving our guests and communities in a range of areas," added Jennifer Silberman, vice president, corporate responsibility for Hilton Worldwide. "With more than 2,000 restaurants in our global footprint, our goal is to have a considerable impact on sustainable sourcing in our industry as well as drive humane treatment of animals throughout our supply chain."