US store chain Safeway Inc. has announced that it will sell pork that comes from farms that do not use sow gestation stalls.
"Safeway's decision to move away from gestation crates is welcome and encouraging news," said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the U.S. "Given the scope and quantity of pork products sold by Safeway, this announcement is an important step in addressing animal welfare in the company's supply chain."
According to Safeway company spokesman Brian Dowling, it may be years before the Safeway switch is complete, however the firm decided to make the plan public after realising some of its suppliers were making headway in producing pork without the crates.
"Our company supports the efforts of our suppliers who have committed to reductions in their use of gestation stalls," Dowling said.
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)disagrees with Safeway’s decision regarding the gestation stalls. It has said that the use of sow stalls is ‘appropriate for providing for the well-being of sows during pregnancy.’
The chain store has 1,678 stores in the US and Canada.