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Pigs Suffer While Smithfield Takes Its Sweet Time

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Posted December 12, 2011 by peta2 staff

Smithfield Foods, Inc., the world’s largest pig supplier, announced yesterday that it will phase out gestation crates for pregnant sows by 2017. Let’s hope it keeps its word this time. Smithfield has promised this before.

Female pigs at Smithfield are forced into continuous cycles of pregnancy and birth, only to have their piglets ripped away from them within weeks. The pregnant pigs are confined to metal-barred gestation crates so small that they are nearly immobilized.

In 2007, Smithfield agreed to phase out the crates in 10 years. The decision followed pressure from animal advocates, including PETA’s public protests, meetings with Smithfield executives, and a shareholder resolution to ban the crates. But after two years, the company dropped the plan, citing economic woes.

Last month, PETA launched a “hashtag hijack,” flooding a Smithfield Twitter event with tweets from supporters demanding the end of gestation crates. Smithfield has now agreed but has given itself another five years to comply and said the ban would apply only to farms owned by the company, not its many contract farms.

A company that earned record profits last year off the misery of pigs could start today to end one of its worst abuses. And it should require its contract farmers to do the same. Hopefully, Smithfield won’t go back on their word again and will listen to our calls to ban all gestation crates. Animal advocates can continue to cut into the company’s profit margins by refusing to eat Smithfield products—or any pigs.

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  • 1325 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    How can companies just care about making money and not care about the animals that suffer during their short life

  • 1325 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    are they that stupid it takes them 5 years?

  • 1325 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Thats good, but it might lull people into a false sense of security, thinking dead-pig-flesh is humane. It won’t eliminate the worst abuses, or the fact that the pigs have to die.

  • 1325 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Better then nothing, but still, that’s a bit far away. Hope they keep their promise this time.

  • 1325 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    What the heck! That’s 5 years away.

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