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October 4, 2012

Bruegger’s Bagels Eliminating Controversial Pig Cages from Supply Chain

The Humane Society of the United States Welcomes Restaurant Chain’s Efforts

        

The Humane Society of the United States applauds Bruegger’s Bagels for its work to eliminate controversial gestation crates—cages used to confine breeding pigs—from its pork supply chain, becoming the latest in a growing list of major food companies to address this issue. Bruegger’s Bagels has more than 300 locations in 25 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

“Bruegger’s Bagels cares deeply about creating a more humane and sustainable world,” said David Austin, Bruegger’s president. “To that end, we’re proud to announce that we’re working with our pork suppliers to eliminate gestation crates within our supply chain, and we recognize it could take up until 2022 to achieve this goal.”

“We applaud Bruegger’s Bagels for its work to improve the lives of pigs in the pork industry,” stated Josh Balk, corporate policy director of farm animal protection for The HSUS. “This announcement reaffirms that gestation crates have no place in the pork industry’s future.”

The similar announcements made recently by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Oscar Mayer and other leading food companies signal a reversal in a three-decade-old trend in the pork industry that leaves most breeding pigs confined day and night in gestation crates during their four-month pregnancy. These cages are roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies and designed to prevent them from even turning around. The animals are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilization. This confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers and others.

Facts

  • Nine U.S. states have passed laws to ban the gestation crate confinement of mother pigs.

  • Renowned animal welfare scientist and advisor to the pork industry, Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is clear on this issue: “Confining an animal for most of its life in a box in which it is not able to turn around does not provide a decent life.” Grandin further states, “We’ve got to treat animals right, and the gestation stalls have got to go.”

  • Leading pork producers 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.

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

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