In June, agricultural giant Cargill announced that it would end the use of the highly controversial gestation crates in its pig facilities by the end of 2015, a move that was praised by animal rights groups.
Now, 11 months ahead of schedule, Cargill has revealed that the transition from crates to open groups is complete for 100 percent of the company’s breeding sows. As previously reported, the company’s contractors are expected to follow suit by 2017.
“We welcome the news that Cargill is far ahead of schedule in moving pigs from tiny restrictive cages to open groups where they can move and engage in more of their natural behaviors,” announced Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for The Humane Society of the United States.
“McDonald’s, Burger King, Nestle, Costco and dozens of other companies have made clear that these crates must go, and that major producers like Cargill are so actively moving to eliminate them will no doubt hasten the day when locking animals in metal boxes barely larger than their own bodies is a thing of the past. We hope that industry groups like the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council will also embrace a future where pigs aren’t so extremely confined, rather than continuing to defend such an out-of-date practice.”