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Smithfield Foods Recommits to 2017 Phase-Out of Gestation Crates

The Humane Society of the United States welcomes news from Smithfield Foods that the company  is recommitting to phase out gestation crate confinement of pigs at all company-owned facilities by 2017, a policy the company first made in 2007 but delayed in 2009. The Humane Society of the United States had been pressuring Smithfield to recommit to its timeline, and is encouraged by the company’s announcement.

The HSUS’ president and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, released the following statement:

“Smithfield’s recommitment is an important and welcome move. With the company back on track with its phase-out, we’re getting closer to the day when the cruel confinement of pigs in gestation crates will be a bygone era for the entire hog industry.” Pacelle continued, “We recognize Smithfield’s recommitment as progress and urge its competitors such as Tyson, Hormel, Triumph, Prestage, Seaboard, and others to stop lagging behind and follow suit by adopting similar policies.”


  • Gestation crates are used to confine breeding pigs for virtually their entire lives.
  • Eight states and the European Union have passed laws to phase out gestation crates.
  • Animal welfare expert and advisor to the pork industry, Dr. Temple Grandin, states that gestation crates “are a real problem” and “have to go.”
  • Extensive scientific research confirms that confining sows in gestation crates is detrimental to animal welfare.

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

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