McDonald’s To Pork Producers: No More Gestation Stalls By 2022
McDonald’s USA on Thursday announced that starting in 2022 the company will no longer buy pork from producers who use gestation stalls to raise pregnant sows.
To ensure its new guidelines are followed the fast food leader said it would work with producers and suppliers to prove that pork products purchased by the company are not from farms that use the gestation stalls. To potentially speed up the process McDonald’s executives say by 2017 they will give priority to pork producers in the U.S. who are already working to phase out gestation stalls.
Speaking of the “victory” the Humane Society of the United States said of the decision:
“We wish the company planned to get rid of these crates tomorrow, but we understand the logistical challenges involved in making such significant improvements.”
The crates have long been under the fire of animal activists groups because of their small 7 foot long by 2 foot wide enclosures in which breeding sows will spend much of their lives unable to even turn around in their own enclosures. Producers who use the crates claim they ensure young piglets are not crushed by larger animals and to keep sows from fighting in larger pens.
McDonald’s is not the first fast food giant to announce the phasing out of gestation stalls, Wendy’s Co. and Burger King have also recently announced that they would remove gestation stalls in the future and food giant Hormel Foods Corp has also begun phasing out the stalls at company-owned facilities.
According to McDonald’s it will take 10 years to phase out the stalls because right now only 6-10% of all sows are housed outside of the stalls and the company must continue to meet demand while converting to a stall free production cycle.