US: Safeway promotes welfare for pigs
North America's third largest grocery retailer,
Safeway, has taken a series of major steps to improve animal welfare in its food
purchasing decisions of pork and poultry.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) applauded Safeway's
announcement. It has been in dialogue with the retailer since last November
about improving its farm animal welfare standards.
The following new policies are to be introduced:
- It will purchase pork preferably from producers that
do not confine breeding sows in gestation crates, as the cages are so small
that the animals have difficulty turning around.
- It will increase the proportion of gestation crate-free pork it offers by
5% over each of the next three years, to a total of 15% in 2010.
- It will purchase preferably cage-free eggs, which is
"intended to favour producers who are converting away from battery-cage
confinement systems." Safeway further adds, "We hope this new policy will
encourage the egg industry to move away from confining laying hens in battery
- It will more than double the percentage of cage-free
eggs it offers to over 6% of its total egg sales within two years.
- It will also purchase from poultry slaughterers that use Controlled
Atmosphere Stunning, which causes significantly less suffering than the
conventional poultry slaughter method.
Paul Shapiro, senior director of the HSUS' factory farming campaign,
commented that "Safeway's new policies represent important progress on basic
animal welfare issues and will positively affect many thousands of animals."
â€¢ The Humane Society of the United States
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