Dozens of companies are failing to fulfill their promise to end the use of gestation crates according to a new report from the animal welfare organization, World Animal Protection.
Between 2012 and 2015, companies including Campbell’s, Costco, Walmart, and several others made headlines for announcing the end of using cruel gestation crates for pregnant pigs and committing to only providing gestation-crate-free pork.
However, by 2020, many companies have rolled back on their commitments or stopped reporting their progress.
Of the 56 companies studied in the Quit Stalling report, nearly one-third no longer have language in their animal welfare policies or reports regarding crate-free pork. Additionally, 25% of the companies use “vague language” that does not require all suppliers to comply.
Only 16 companies are currently publicly reporting their progress on their commitments, the report says. For example, the organization highlights The Cheesecake Factory’s transparency with the public on its progress in ending the use of gestation crates, not just limiting the time spent in the crates but eliminating crates altogether.
Historically, large food companies have made promises on animal welfare that they cannot keep. Confinement of animals is still the norm in food production.
In 2007, Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, announced it would phase out gestation crates. A 2017 investigation revealed the pork company’s continued use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs and those who just gave birth. After being exposed in 2017, the company has still not ended the use of gestation crates according to World Animal Protection’s report.
Gestation crates are concrete-floored metal stalls that are so small pigs are unable to even turn around. Pregnant pigs are kept in these restrictive cages for their whole pregnancy, an average of 114 days in unsanitary and dangerous conditions.
After giving birth, sows are moved to “farrowing crates,” another form of extreme confinement where the mother stays with her new piglets until they are weaned. Once weaned, mothers are taken away and bred a total of three to four times on average in the U.S. before being slaughtering.
Pigs are highly-intelligent creatures, smarter than dogs, with incredible memories and playful attitudes. They are even capable of playing video games. Thousands of these smart, sentient beings are subject to a lifetime of cruel and inhumane confinement and mutilation, unable to play or see the outdoors and restricted from even turning around before being killed.
Read more about gestation crates and where the largest food companies stand on animal welfare issues.
Sign this petition to tell companies to publicly commit to ending gestation crates.
To continue speaking up against animal cruelty, sign these petitions:
- End Cruel Chick Culling and Maceration
- End Factory Farming in the United States
- Eliminate Ag-Gag Laws Which Prevent Footage of Cruelty in Animal Agriculture Industry to be Released to the Public
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