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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Wienerschnitzel Commits to Phasing Out Sow Gestation Crates

Another company has pledged to phase out sow gestation crates from its supply chain. The Galardi Group, the franchisor of Wienerschnitzel, the largest hot dog chain in the world, announced its commitment to phasing out gestation crates. By 2022, it will only purchase pork from suppliers who do not use gestation crates. The company operates 350 locations in California and about 12 other Western states, serving over 120 million hot dogs a year.

Gestation crates are a "three decade-old trend in the pork industry," as The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) puts it, into which sows are confined during their four-month pregnancy. Once the sows give birth they are impregnated again and put back into a gestation crate, and that cycle continues for the rest of their lives. Not a compassionate practice by any means.

"The move toward a gestation crate-free environment is consistent with Wienerschnitzel’s commitment to provide the highest-quality food, and we support the efforts of pork suppliers to ultimately eliminate the use of gestation crates," stated Alan Cline, director of purchasing and product development. "Moving forward, we will be requesting from our pork suppliers their plans to phase out the use of gestation crates from their supply chains by 2022."

HSUS praised Wienerschnitzel for its commitment to phasing out gestation crates from its supply chain. "By eliminating gestation crates from its supply chain, Wienerschnitzel is taking an important step in improving the lives of animals," stated Kristie Middleton, outreach manager for The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). "Consumers care about how farm animals are treated, and cramming them in cages where they can barely move for virtually their entire lives is simply out-of-step with those values."

Phasing out gestation crates is the new trend Since last December, other companies have committed to phasing out the gestation crates, including the fast food chains McDonald's, Burger King, CKE Restaurants (owner of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's), Sonic, Wendy's and Baja Fresh. Recently, Aramark, a large food service company, made a similar commitment. Other companies that made commitments include the following:

  • Smithfield, the largest pork producer in the world, and Hormel, pork providers, pledged to end the use of gestation crates at their company-owned facilities by 2017

  • Sodexo, the world's second largest food service company, serving 10 million meals a day

  • Kraft Foods, the world's second largest food company, and owner of Oscar Meyer brand pork products

  • Compass groups, which calls itself the largest food and support services

  • Cargill is already 50-percent crate-free

There are two companies which refuse to phase out the cruel crates. Tyson Foods, a top pork producer, is one of them. Tyson goes as far as defending its use of gestation crates. The pizza chain Dominos is the other company that refuses to phase out gestation crates from its supply chain. Given the amount of companies that have committed to phasing out the crates, combined with petitions by organizations like HSUS urging companies to make their own commitments, it's only a matter of time before gestational crates are a thing of the past.

Photo: Wikipedia

Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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