December 18, 2012
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Eliminating Controversial Pig Cages from Supply Chain
The HSUS Welcomes Restaurant Chain’s Progress
The Humane Society of the United States applauds Denver-area based Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, a leader in the quick-casual segment of the restaurant industry operating primarily under the Einstein Bros.® Bagels, Noah's New York Bagels® and Manhattan Bagel® brands, for its plans to eliminate controversial gestation crates—tight cages used to confine breeding pigs—from its pork supply chain by the end of 2017. Einstein Noah has approximately 800 restaurants in 39 states.
“We were pleased to find that the majority of our suppliers are already working toward eliminating gestation crates from their systems,” stated Einstein Noah’s senior vice president of supply chain, “and we are committed to working with our supplier partners to eliminate them from our supply chain by the end of 2017.”
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds Einstein Noah Restaurant Group for working with its suppliers to tackle such a serious animal welfare issue,” stated Josh Balk, corporate policy director of farm animal protection for The HSUS. “The writing is on the wall – gestation crates don’t have a future in the pork industry.”
Similar announcements made recently by Oscar Mayer, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger 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.
- 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.”
- Einstein Noah’s home state of Colorado is one of nine that have banned gestation crates.
- 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.
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