McDonald’s to Phase Out ‘Small-Pen’ Pork

by Angela Nazworth | June 1, 2012 12:26 pm

Fast-food giant, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD[1]) on Thursday announced its intentions to phase out the use of gestation stalls in its U.S. pork supply within 10 years. The small pens have been deemed inhumane by most, if not all, animal-welfare organizations.

The company in February said it would work with its pork suppliers to assess the current state of sow-housing and to develop next steps for a complete gestation stall phase out.

“This change is complex and will require additional resources,” Dr. Temple Grandin, animal welfare scientist at Colorado State University and member of McDonald’s Animal Welfare Council, said in a press statement[2] released by McDonald’s. “The ten-year timeline that McDonald’s has outlined is necessary to research and identify better housing alternatives and ensure proper training of employees,” Grandin continued.

The goal of McDonald’s ten-year plan, which was developed with input from its suppliers, pork producers and animal welfare experts, is to source all pork for its U.S. business from producers that do not house pregnant sows in gestation stalls by the end of 2022.

By 2017, McDonald’s says it will only purchase pork for its U.S. business from producers who share its commitment to eliminate gestation stalls. McDonald’s will work with producers and suppliers to develop  systems that will verify that the pork they use will be sourced only from non-gestation stall supply chains.

Burger King, one of McDonald’s top competitors, announced a similar initiative[3] in April.

  1. MCD:
  2. press statement:
  3. announced a similar initiative:

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