McDonald’s U.S suppliers required to take action over animal welfare

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th February 2012

One of the world’s largest fast food chains, McDonald’s Corporation, has announced that it will require its U.S. pork suppliers to outline their plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls.

A gestation stall is a metal enclosure used in intensive pig farming, in which a female breeding pig (sow) may be confined during pregnancy, and in effect for most of her adult life.

McDonald’s said that it will work with its U.S. suppliers to determine how to end the use of gestation stalls. McDonald’s declared that “there are alternatives that we think are better for the welfare of sows.”

McDonald’s North America senior vice president Dan Gorsky said, “We are beginning an assessment with our U.S. suppliers to determine how to build on the work already underway to reach this goal. In May 2012, after receiving our suppliers’ plans, we’ll share results from the assessment and our next steps.”

The move has been supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), whose president Wayne Pacelle said in a statement, “McDonald’s announcement is important and promising. It’s just wrong to immobilize animals for their whole lives in crates barely larger than their bodies.”

McDonald’s announcement comes two months after Smithfield Foods, one of the largest pork producers in the world, pledged to phase out sow gestation stalls in its company-owned operations by 2017.