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October 6, 2011

Shareholder Proposal Takes Aim at Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza for Animal Cruelty

The HSUS submitted a shareholder resolution today asking Domino’s Pizza to report to shareholders the feasibility of using pepperoni and ham toppings that come from pork producers that don’t use gestation crates to confine breeding pigs.

The Humane Society of the United States submitted a shareholder resolution asking Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino’s Pizza to report to shareholders the feasibility of using pepperoni and ham toppings that come from pork producers that don’t use gestation crates to confine breeding pigs.

Gestation crates are cages used to virtually immobilize breeding pigs for nearly their entire lives. The animals are confined in these crates during their four-month pregnancy, placed into another crate to give birth, then put back into a gestation crate—pregnancy after pregnancy—until they are slaughtered.

"Consumers don’t support lifelong confinement of farm animals in tight crates," said Kristie Middleton, manager of corporate policy for The HSUS' farm animal protection division. "Domino’s appears to be behind the times on this issue, and shareholders deserve to understand what the company is capable of doing to end its support for this unnecessary and extreme cruelty."

Eight U.S. states—including Domino’s home state of Michigan—and the European Union have enacted laws to phase out gestation crates. Major companies like Wendy’s, Burger King, Chipotle, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Sonic, Quiznos, Wolfgang Puck, Safeway, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and Winn-Dixie have begun transitioning away from pork produced using gestation crates. Pork producers Cargill and Maple Leaf Foods and have also begun moving away from the use of gestation crates.

Renowned farm animal expert Dr. Temple Grandin, unequivocally states that “gestation stalls have got to go.”

A copy of The HSUS's shareholder resolution is available upon request.

Facts:

  • About 70 percent of breeding sows in the United States are confined in crates so small the animals can barely move for their entire lives. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
  • An American Farm Bureau-funded poll found that the vast majority of consumers think gestation crates are inhumane.
  • A study conducted by Iowa State University concluded that it’s more economical to raise breeding pigs in groups, rather than individual crates.
  • Factory farming is a major social issue: A study by food industry consultancy, Technomic, ranked animal welfare as the third-most important social issue to restaurant patrons; an American Farm Bureau-funded report found that 89 percent of Americans believe that food companies that require their suppliers to treat farm animals better are doing the right thing.  

Media Contact: Anna West: 301-258-1518; awest@humanesociety.org

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