Cargill, a Minnesota-based agricultural commodities distributor and food processing company and the largest private corporation in the United States, has announced their decision to end the use of controversial gestation crates in its pig facilities.
Cargill’s company-owned facilities will stop use of the crates by 2015, and its contractors will follow suit by 2017.
Cargill’s decision to shift sow housing from confining crates to group pens follows similar announcements from more than 60 of the largest food retailers in the United States, including McDonald’s and Costco. The industry-wide move has been attributed to increasing consumer concern for the humane treatment and production of food sources.
“Cargill’s decision brings us closer to the day when gestation crates will be relics of the past in the pork industry,” announced Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s Vice President of Farm Animal Protection.
“Americans simply don’t support locking animals in cages barely larger than their bodies, and Cargill is right to be leading its industry away from the practice.”
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.