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March 23, 2012

Wendy’s Announces Commitment to Eliminate Gestation Crates in its Supply Chain

Decision Comes Just One Month After Similar Announcement from McDonald’s

After discussing the subject and working with The Humane Society of the United States, Wendy’s announced that it will require its U.S. and Canadian pork suppliers to outline their plans to phase out the use of sow gestation crates.

In the pork industry, most mother pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, then they are placed into another crate to give birth. They are re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate, pregnancy after pregnancy, until they are slaughtered. These crates are about two feet by seven feet, and the pigs cannot even turn around. It adds up to years of extreme confinement, to the point of virtual immobilization.

“Wendy’s is working with its U.S. and Canadian pork suppliers to eliminate the use of sow gestation stalls over time,” said Dennis Hecker, head of Wendy's animal welfare committee and senior vice president of quality assurance. “[Wendy’s] believes that confining sows in gestation stalls is not sustainable over the long term, and moving away from this practice is the right thing to do.” 

“Confining pigs in gestation crates is cruel, and more and more consumers want nothing to do with this kind of animal mistreatment,” said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS’ president and CEO. “Wendy’s commitment to eliminate gestation crates provides further evidence that we are on the pathway toward ending this inhumane practice once and for all.”

Wendy’s announcement follows McDonald’s statement that it will require suppliers to deliver plans for eliminating gestation crates. As well, Compass Group – the largest food service company in the world, operating 10,000 dining facilities at schools, hospitals, corporate offices and other venues in the U.S. – recently announced it’s also eliminating gestation crates. And Bon Appétit Management Company, a food service provider that operates more than 400 cafés for corporations, universities and other venues, committed in February to be gestation crate-free.

Pork providers Smithfield and Hormel have pledged to end the use of gestation crates at their company-owned facilities by 2017, and Cargill is already 50 percent crate-free. Eight U.S. states have passed laws to ban the practice and Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, have bills pending that would outlaw gestation crates.

 

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