HSUS Aims to Eliminate Sow Stalls from Pork Supply

2 November 2012, at 11:56am

US - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has applauded Target – the nation’s fourth-largest food retailer with nearly 1,800 locations in 49 states – for wielding its immense purchasing power to make a huge improvement in animal welfare by eliminating controversial pig gestation crates from its pork supply chain.

“Target is committed to working with our vendors on the elimination of sow gestation crates by 2022,“ states the company on its Responsible Sourcing website. “Target recognizes this task will involve a large undertaking from our pork product vendors and we will partner closely with our vendors as they work through this transition.“

The Humane Society of the United States supports Target’s progress.

“Target’s got gestation crates in its crosshairs and should be commended for working to improve conditions for pigs in its supply chain,“ stated Matthew Prescott, food policy director for The HSUS. “Americans simply don’t support the lifelong confinement of animals in cages so small they can’t even turn around, and it’s both an ethical decision and good business move for Target to recognise that.“

The similar announcements made recently by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Oscar Mayer, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and more than 30 other leading food companies signal a reversal in a three-decade-old trend in the pork industry that leaves most breeding pigs confined day and night in gestation crates during their four-month pregnancy. These cages are roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies and designed to prevent them from even turning around.

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