McDonald's will get its pork suppliers to phase out the use of immobilizing cages for pregnant pigs
McDonald's said it will get its pork suppliers to phase out the use of immobilizing cages for pregnant pigs, a move that was applauded by the Humane Society of the United States, but not the pork industry.
"Confining pigs in gestation crates is arguably the cruelest practice in factory farming," said Josh Balk, spokesman for the Humane Society of the U.S. "These are iron maidens that are barely larger than the pigs' own bodies."
But the pork industry doesn't see it that way. Dave Warner, spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, said that, contrary to popular opinion, pens aren't necessarily better than the stalls.
"Pens have some real problems," he said. "Let's say you put ten pregnant sows in a pen. They get mean.
More here: McDonald's: No more tiny cages for pregnant pigs - Feb. 14, 2012
John McGlone, director of the Pork Industry Institute at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, said that scientific studies of pens and stalls have determined that their impact on the pigs' quality of life is essentially the same. But he acknowledged that it doesn't matter, as far as the perception is concerned