chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 1, 2012 01:02 PM
Animal-rights activists have been after chain restaurants for years to stop penning up their pigs and their work is finally paying off. Burger King in April made the promise to unpen the pigs in its supply chain and Wendy’s made a similar promise a month earlier. Now McDonald’s, oft-criticized by animal welfare groups as the world's largest user of beef, is following up on its ethical pledge for more humane treatment of the chicken and pigs of America.
While Burger King says it can do it by 2017, McDonald's (on the heels of its recent "back to the farm" campaign) says it will need at least until 2022 until it can be sure that all of its suppliers aren’t penning up the sows, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Sow confinement has been standard agricultural practice for decades, based on the reasoning that the pregnant animals become aggressive around food,” the newspaper notes. This, of course, has not won too much favor with animal-rights folks.
"We value our relationship with our suppliers and our shared commitment to animal welfare," Dan Gorsky, SVP of McDonald's North America Supply Chain Management, said in a statement to the Trib. "Our approach seeks to build on the work already in place, and we are also sensitive to the needs of the smaller, independent pork producers in phasing out of gestation stalls."
Case in point: watch The Field Moms of Illinois Farm Families discuss McDonald's announcement requiring its pork suppliers to adopt its responsible farming standards and phase out gestation stalls.