Two years after Smithfield Foods (the world’s largest pig flesh producer) announced that it would phase out cruel gestation crates by 2017, PETA has learned that the company has decided to break its promise. Although Smithfield cites financial woes as the reason for putting off the promised minimal improvements for pigs, PETA points out that just three years' compensation for the company's highly-paid directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out over the next eight years.
The majority of Smithfield's pregnant sows are currently confined to gestation crates, which are made of concrete and steel and are so small that the animals cannot turn around or even lie down comfortably in them. The crates are so cruel—causing sows extreme physical and psychological stress—that voters in Florida, Arizona, and California have banned them by overwhelming margins.
Please take just a few moments to send a letter to Smithfield executives asking them to make good on their promise to phase out cruel gestation crates by 2017.
Keep Your Promise to Eliminate Cruel Gestation Crates
Dear [Decision Maker],
I was shocked to learn that Smithfield has broken its pledge to phase out cruel gestation crates. Gestation crates are metal and concrete prisons for mother pigs who can't turn around or even lie down comfortably. Pigs kept in gestation crates develop painful sores and lesions and their muscles atrophy from lack of movement. Gestation crates affect mother pigs psychologically as well. These intelligent animals are often driven insane by the constant confinement and lack of mental stimulation. Please reconsider your decision and phase out all gestation crates by 2017 or sooner. Smithfield should be leading the industry with its animal welfare policies, not reverting to cruel and outdated methods. Please do the right thing and honor your promise to your customers and the thousands of pigs on your farms.