Subway and Humane Society target crated pig meat production

The Humane Society of the United States is lauding Milford-based Subway for demanding its meat providers eliminate the use of gestation crates in pig farming.

In a blog, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, says Subway is joining a growing list of other companies opposed to the practice. Pacelle said McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Oscar Mayer, Costco, Safeway, Kroger, and other leading food companies have made the pledge to force a change in this three-decade-old trend in the pork industry.

According to the Humane Society, some pig farmers place sows in crates just large enough for them to lay down in and only remove them when they are giving birth to what will become ham and sausage. Those who object to the practice note the animal’s quality of life is terrible.

On its website, subway says:

“We support the elimination of crate style housing for gestation sows and have had this eliminated from our pork suppliers in the UK. Also, our pork suppliers in the US have begun to transition to a more humane process including the elimination of gestation crates and anticipate having this process completed within the next 10 years. We will continue to work with suppliers who share our commitment to phasing out gestation stalls as quickly as possible, putting traceability systems in place and using the best animal welfare and handling practices.”

And Pacelle said Subway pledges to not use crated pig meat by 2022. Other pork hawkers are planning to eliminate the practice from their supply chain by 2017.

Rob Varnon