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Wendy’s Demands Progress Reports on Elimination of Pig Crates

PHOTO: Wendy's is demanding quarterly reports from pork suppliers about their ability to provide pork produced without the use of gestation crates. Photo credit: The Humane Society of the United States.
PHOTO: Wendy's is demanding quarterly reports from pork suppliers about their ability to provide pork produced without the use of gestation crates. Photo credit: The Humane Society of the United States.
February 5, 2014

PHOENIX - The world's third-largest fast-food chain is making more strides toward elimination of controversial pig cages.

Wendy's says it will require its suppliers to provide quarterly reports regarding their ability to provide pork produced without the use of gestation crates.

Josh Balk, director of food policy for the Humane Society of the United States, said the cages that are used to house breeding pigs are so restrictive that the animals can't even turn around.

"Imagine putting a cage barely larger than the pig's own body around her for virtually her entire life," he said. "If we treated a dog or a cat in this cruel manner, we'd be arrested for cruelty to animals."

While the food industry has led the way on the issue, Balk said, the pork industry has been slow to follow.

"Some have battled back and have tried to maintain somehow that gestation crates are OK and that consumers really don't care about cruelty to animals," he said, "but fortunately to the animals, the food industry hasn't listened too much to what the pork industry has to say on this particular issue."

Balk said he applauds Wendy's and other food companies for sticking to their commitments to eliminate what he calls a cruel food system.

"The combination of the initial announcement and now the follow-up will hopefully ensure that mother pigs in the pork industry will no longer be confined to the point that they're unable to turn around for virtually their entire life," he said.

The announcement follows a commitment Wendy's made in 2012 to eliminate gestation crates from the company's supply chains. Dozens of other food companies have made the same commitment. Wendy's operates 94 locations in Arizona.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ