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November 14, 2013

Papa John’s to Eliminate Controversial Pig Cages from Pork Supply Chain

The Humane Society of the United States welcomes Louisville-based chain to long list of industry peers making animal welfare progress

Papa John’s, an international pizza outlet with more than 4,000 stores, announced it will join other major restaurant chains in working to eliminate controversial gestation crates from its supply chain. The cages, used to confine breeding pigs, have been criticized in recent years by animal welfare advocates and the food industry alike. This announcement is welcomed by The Humane Society of the United States.

Papa John’s wrote on its website: “We support the industry move away from traditional gestation crates and are encouraging our suppliers to explore alternative pregnant sow housing options. We will seek suppliers who adopt a plan to implement this practice.”

Kristie Middleton, food policy manager for The HSUS said, “We welcome Papa John’s move to join its peers in the food industry in addressing one of the most critical animal welfare issues in food production today. Papa John’s support for the elimination of pig cages from its supply chain supports the food industry’s view of gestation crates as unsustainable and inhumane.”

Similar announcements made recently by Oscar Mayer, McDonald’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger,  Quiznos and nearly 60 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-long pregnancies. This confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers and others.

Facts

  • Nine U.S. states and the European Union have passed laws to ban the continual gestation crate confinement of breeding pigs, while many family farmers have been raising pigs without the use of gestation crates for generations.
  • Renowned animal welfare scientist and pork industry advisor, 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.”

Media Contact: Samantha Miller: 301-258-1417; smiller@humanesociety.org

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