The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) applauds Atlanta-based Arby’s for its new policy to eliminate controversial gestation crates from its pork supply chain.
Arby’s is the second-largest quick-service sandwich chain in the U.S. with more than 3,500 restaurants.
“Arby’s is committed to only working with suppliers who have policies in place to work towards the elimination of gestation crates on sow farms,” Arby’s says on its website. “We believe there are more humane and sustainable alternatives to gestation crates and are actively collaborating with our suppliers to implement solutions that align with our company’s commitment to animal welfare.”
Josh Balk, corporate policy director of farm animal protection for The HSUS, says, “The Humane Society of the United States applauds Arby’s for closing its doors to pork producers that aren’t eliminating gestation crates. If you’re a pork producer without plans to move away from gestation crates, you’ve nearly run out of buyers willing to purchase your products. It’s time to change.”
Similar announcements made recently by Oscar Mayer, McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, and more than 40 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 turning around. The animals are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate.
This confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers and others.