Cargill has plans to eliminate the use of gestation crates for Cargill-owned sows, the company announced.
By the end of 2015, Cargill will phase out the crates in the facilities it owns. Contract hog farms that contain Cargill-owned sows will move to group housing by 2017.
The offspring of Cargill-owned sows represent about 30% of the hogs slaughtered at Cargill pork processing facilities.
Pressure from clients and consumers led Cargill to make the change.
“Over the past two years, many of our retail, foodservice and food processing customers have made decisions about future sourcing of pork products from suppliers that use group housing for gestating sows,” Mike Luker, president of Cargill Pork, said in a media statement. “While Cargill was a pioneer in the use of group housing for gestating sows dating back more than a decade, in the past few years growing public interest in the welfare related to animals raised for food has been expressed to our customers and the pork industry.”
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