Nation’s Largest Pork Producer Discontinues Use of “Crates”

From the Washington Post:

    The largest U.S. pork supplier, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, said yesterday that it will require its producers to phase out the practice of keeping pregnant pigs in “gestation crates” — metal and concrete cages that animal welfare advocates consider one of the most inhumane features of large-scale factory farming.

    Activists hailed the decision as perhaps the most significant voluntary improvement ever made in animal welfare, but they said the stage had been set by the recent passage of two state initiatives that would ban the use of the crates.

Smithfield denies that the change is the result of Animal Welfare advocacy, claiming that McDonald’s and several supermarkets were pressuring for the change. —MEGHANN MARCO

Largest Pork Processor to Phase Out Crates [Washington Post] [Photo: wallyg]