CKE Restaurants, owner of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant chains, announced today that it will work to ensure that its pork supply is purchased from suppliers who use group housing methods for pigs. 

"CKE Restaurants, Inc. supports the humane treatment of animals, having requested its pork suppliers develop practical and sustainable alternatives to the use of gestation stall and to transition to a group housing environment for sows," wrote CKE in a statement sent to The Humane Society of the United States. "CKE will strive to completely transition its pork supplies to only utilize animals raised in group housing situations by 2022."

CKE first began transitioning to gestation crate-free pork five years ago. Today's announcement represents the latest in the company's progress on this important animal welfare issue.

"CKE was one of the first major restaurant chains to begin moving away from gestation crate pork, and we applaud the company for continuing its evolution toward its goal of a gestation crate-free supply chain," says Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for The HSUS. "Consumers care about how farm animals are treated, and cramming them in cages where they can barely move for their entire lives is simply out-of-step with those values."

Since February, other leading food companies, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Denny's, Cracker Barrel, and Sonic, have announced moves toward gestation crate-free supply chains. In addition, major pork producers like Smithfield Foods and Hormel have commited to stop using gestation crates at their company-owned breeding operations by 2017. Cargill is already 50 percent gestation crate-free.

So far, nine U.S. states have banned the practice, and others have bills pending that would outlaw gestation crates.

News, Sustainability, Carl's Jr., Hardee's