Papa John’s, an international pizza outlet with more than 4,000 stores, announced it will join other restaurant chains in working to eliminate controversial gestation crates from its supply chain. The cages, which are used to confine breeding pigs, have been criticized in recent years by animal welfare advocates and the food industry alike.
“We support the industry move away from traditional gestation crates and are encouraging our suppliers to explore alternative pregnant sow housing options,” Papa John’s wrote online. “We will seek suppliers who adopt a plan to implement this practice.”
“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,” says Kristie Middleton, food policy manager for the Humane Society of the United States.
Similar announcements made recently by Oscar Mayer, McDonald’s, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, Quiznos, and nearly 60 other food companies suggest a reversal of the use of gestation crates. The confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers, and others.