Smithfield hails "significant progress" on animal welfare - Just Food
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Smithfield hails “significant progress” on animal welfare

05 Jan 2016

Smithfield Foods said that it has made "significant progress" on its animal welfare goal, established in 2007, to move all pregnant sows to group housing.

Smithfield hails “significant progress” on animal welfare

Smithfield Foods said that it has made “significant progress” on its animal welfare goal, established in 2007, to move all pregnant sows to group housing.

The company said that it has transitioned 81.8% of its pregnant sows to group housing systems at the end of 2015, a 10% increase from 2014 levels. Smithfield is “on track” to have transitioned all company-owned farms to the system by 2017, the group added. 

“At Smithfield Foods, we are committed to keeping animals safe, comfortable and healthy,” Ken Sullivan, Smithfield president and CEO, said. “As the world’s largest pork producer, we have a responsibility to be a leader in animal care, and we view our conversion of the pregnant sow housing system as a key component of our dedication to this goal.”

In addition to efforts at its company-owned farms, Smithfield previously announced the company expects all US contract growers to complete a transition to group housing by 2022. The compant’s international hog production operations also have a goal of converting to group housing systems on all company-owned farms by 2022, including in Mexico. 

Stewart Leeth, the group’s vice president and chief sustainability officer, added: “Our commitment to the transition to group housing for pregnant sows goes hand-in-hand with other pledges, such as our removal of ractopamine from feed for all company-owned animals supplied to our processing facilities, and other steps that have placed us at the forefront of the hog production industry in the United States.”