Joining the hot-button conversation about pig confinement crates, Sonic announced plans to phase in a pork supply chain free of gestation crates. The controversial crates are use to confine breeding pigs and have come under fire in recent years due to animal welfare concerns.

Sonic plans to eliminate the crates from its pork supply by 2022, although it is working toward 2017, the timeline a number of large pork producers have set to fully transition to group housing.

"Sonic will continue to favor suppliers that raise hogs in a gestation crate-free environment in addition to suppliers that can provide audit and tracking reports for sourcing crate-free pork," says the company's website.

"Sonic has consistently shown that it takes animal welfare seriously," notes Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection at The Humane Society of the United States. "We look forward to working with the company to bring about a gestation crate-free future for its products."

Since February, McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's have announced that they will eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.

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