Peta calls Smithfield to end the use of gestation crates

by Editor
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The animal protection organisation Peta, which owns shares of Smithfield Foods Inc. stock, will present a shareholder resolution at the corporation's annual meeting today, calling on the board of directors to disclose – by January 2010 – a timeline for phasing out the use of gestation crates at company-owned and contract facilities, according to a Peta press release.

In 2007, Smithfield announced that it would stop using gestation crates at its company-owned facilities by 2017. Smithfield told The Wall Street Journal that some of its largest customers, including McDonald's and Wal-Mart, have asked the company to get rid of gestation crates. Smithfield had since reneged on this commitment, said Peta.

In its resolution, Peta points out that gestation crates causing sows extreme physical and psychological stress. Peta also points out that several major restaurant and grocery chains have already begun to phase out or have announced plans to phase out the purchase of flesh from suppliers that use gestation crates.