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Huge victory for farm animals!

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  • Kari Nienstedt
    The nation s largest pork producer, Smithfield Corporation, has just agreed to phase out the use of gestation crates!! (Smithfield s produces 15.6 million
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 25, 2007
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      The nation's largest pork producer, Smithfield Corporation, has just
      agreed to phase out the use of gestation crates!! (Smithfield's produces 15.6 million hogs annually and its clients include McDonald's and Wal-Mart.) This is a tremendous step forward in the humane treatment of farm animals! Arizona activists played an important role by passing Prop 204 and showing industry that the public demands the humane treatment of farm animals. The
      following is a press release sent out by the Humane Society of the
      United States:


      The Humane Society of the United States Praises Smithfield Move to
      End Confinement of Pigs in Gestation Crates

      Nation's Largest Animal Protection Organization Calls the Change
      a "Monumental Advance" for Animal Welfare

      WASHINGTON (January 25, 2007) — Calling the company's
      announcement "perhaps the most monumental advance for animal welfare
      in history of modern American agribusiness," The Humane Society of
      the United States (HSUS) today praised Smithfield Corporation, the
      nation's largest pork producer, for announcing it has agreed to phase
      out the confinement of pigs in gestation crates over the next
      decade. The decision comes after voters in Arizona and Florida – in
      ballot initiatives spearheaded by The HSUS – approved measures to
      outlaw the crates. The Arizona measure, Proposition 204, was approved
      in November by 62 percent of voters, in spite of a vigorous campaign
      by industry to defeat it.

      "This is an earthquake in the pig industry," stated Wayne Pacelle,
      president and CEO of The HSUS. "Gestation crates are one of the most
      inhumane confinement systems used in modern agribusiness, and this
      decision is a signal by the industry leader that these crates have no
      place in the future of American agriculture. The Humane Society of
      the United States calls on the other major pork producers to follow
      Smithfield 's lead, and rid the industry of this extraordinarily
      inhumane confinement system."

      Gestation crates are two-foot by seven-foot metal cages that house
      breeding pigs. The sows have a gestation period of four months, and
      are in the crates for nearly their entire pregnancy. After giving
      birth, they are re-impregnated and placed back in the crates,
      enduring perhaps 8 or 10 successive pregnancies in the crates before
      the animals are reproductively "spent." The crates are so restrictive
      that the animals can't even turn around for months on end. Pigs
      confined in gestation crates suffer both leg and joint problems along
      with psychosis resulting from extreme boredom and frustration.

      Confinement in gestation crates is so abusive that the entire
      European Union is phasing out the practice, with a total ban taking
      effect in 2013. Numerous American animal scientists also oppose these
      cruel crates. Farm animal expert Dr. Temple Grandin
      states, "Gestation crates for pigs are a real problem...Basically,
      you're asking a sow to live in an airline seat...I think it's
      something that needs to be phased out."

      Under Smithfield 's plan, breeding sows will instead be housed in
      group pens in which they have some freedom of movement and the
      ability to socialize.

      C. Larry Pope, Smithfield Foods CEO stated in a press release, "While
      this will be a significant financial commitment for our company over
      the next 10 years, we believe it's the right thing to do."

      Florida citizens voted to prohibit gestation crate confinement in
      2002, and the Arizona measure was approved in 2006. The HSUS has been
      considering replicating these campaigns in other states in the 2008
      elections.


      The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest
      animal protection organization with nearly 10 million members and
      constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active
      programs in companion animals, disaster preparedness and response,
      wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammals, animals in research,
      equine protection, and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all
      animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation,
      advocacy and field work. The nonprofit organization is based in
      Washington and has field representatives and offices across the
      country. On the web at www.humanesociety.org .
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