NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- World Animal Protection commends the new commitment made by supermarket giant Kroger to phase out the use of gestation crates for pigs in its supply chain, with a stated goal of sourcing 100% of the fresh pork the company sells from suppliers that have transitioned all their self-operated and contracted farms away from gestation crates by 2025. As the largest supermarket chain in the United States by revenue, with more than 2,000 stores in 35 states, Kroger's industry-leading commitment will transform the lives of thousands of mother pigs each year.
Kroger's action follows World Animal Protection's petition, launched in May and signed by more than 72,000 supporters, calling on Kroger to end the use of gestation crates for pigs in its supply chain. As one of the first grocery store chains to transition to cage-free eggs, Kroger has long been a food industry leader on animal welfare policies.
"We are glad that Kroger has listened to the public and made this industry leading commitment to improve the lives of pigs," said Alesia Soltanpanah, U.S. Executive Director of World Animal Protection. "Mother pigs in gestation crates suffer terribly, but a more humane way to raise pigs is possible, as Kroger has committed to. We urge all major food companies to follow Kroger's lead by phasing out gestation crates and encourage Kroger to share updates on its progress towards its goal."
Three out of four of the world's mother pigs spend most of their lives in steel cages no bigger than a refrigerator, unable to turn around or move freely. They suffer at every stage of their lives. Leading supermarket brands like Kroger have the power to end the needless suffering and confinement of pigs farmed for pork.
Humane farming is good for animals, healthier for people, and a best practice for business. Good animal welfare practices reduce stress, injury and disease, decreasing the overuse of antibiotics. More antibiotics are used for animals in the U.S. than for humans; ¾ of all the antibiotics used in the world are used in farming. World Animal Protection urges all national supermarket chains to follow Kroger's example by implementing clear, time-bound commitments to eliminate gestation crates for pigs from their supply chain. Companies should also share transparent updates on their progress.
World Animal Protection's global Raise Pigs Right campaign is calling on the world's supermarkets to end close confinement, barren environments and mutilations of pigs in their supply by introducing higher-welfare sourcing policies for pork.
World Animal Protection has moved the world to protect animals for more than 50 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organization's activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations. World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animals on the global agenda and inspires people to change animals' lives for the better.