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Sow stall issue could heat up in board rooms
The debate about whether or not hog farmers should use gestation stalls could be decided in corporate board rooms rather than on farms by animal care providers and veterinarians.
Published: Oct 4, 2012
That, at least, appears to be the goal of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
HSUS, which was instrumental in persuading food retailers such as McDonald’s and Burger King to announce intentions to phase out procurement of pork from farmers who use stalls, recently unveiled another target.
Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president, confirmed he is seeking a spot on Tyson Foods’ board of directors in an attempt to convince the company to eliminate the use of stalls, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
HSUS owns stock in Tyson Foods and has tried in the past to get the company to change its production policies.
“It’s one thing to be on the outside and asking for animal welfare concerns to be elevated within the company,” Pacelle told the AP. “It’s another thing to try to do it from the inside.”
A Tyson spokesperson told the AP the company is committed to humane animal treatment and expects the same from farmers in its meat production system.
Pork producers have taken notice of HSUS’ strategy and also plan to increase their presence in corporate board rooms of food retailers.
The National Pork Board (NPB) plans to increase direct communication with decision-makers at the top food retail chains nationwide to help them understand modern pork production methods.
“We think we need to be in that conversation,” Dereke Dunkirk, president of the Illinois Pork Producers Association, told FarmWeek. “We believe that producers should have the freedom to make the decision of what (housing system) works best on their operation.”
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