Another US food company will quit buying pork from farms with gestation crates
July 24th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
The nation’s largest food distributor has joined a growing list of restaurants and retailers urging pork producers to stop using gestation stalls for sows. Sysco executives released a written statement Monday, saying they take the company’s role as a “responsible corporate citizen very seriously” and would “work diligently with suppliers to ensure humane treatment of animals.” Sysco is the largest food distributor in the country, with over 40-billion dollars in sales last year in the U.S., Canada and Ireland. The president of the Humane Society of the United States says a growing list of food-service companies from McDonald’s to Costco are conveying a “no confidence vote” in gestation crates for pigs. Pork producers say the stalls keep the sows safe, as pregnant pigs are often aggressive and get injured in fights, but major players in the pork industry like Cargill and Smithfield are phasing out the use of gestation stalls.
The National Pork Producers Council accuses what they refer to as “radical animal rights groups” of having the “goal of ending food-animal production in the U.S.” The pork producers also accuse the Humane Society of “not telling the truth about animal care” on America’s family farms.