Target: Tyson Foods, Inc.
Goal: Bring the inhumane use of gestation crates to an end at Tyson Foods, Inc.
Tyson is one of the largest meat providers in the United States. However, now the company is lagging behind its competitors when it comes to humane practices. Recently, Hormel Foods agreed to a phasing out of gestation crates—cages so small animals cannot turn themselves around—by 2015. Regardless, almost all breeding pigs for Tyson are contained in these gestation cages for their entire lives.
Gestation crates are one of the industry’s cruelest tactics. Used mainly for pigs, these crates keep breeding animals confined for the majority of their lives, being removed only to give birth. The life of one of these animals is an endless cycle of confinement in crates so small they can barely move. Extensive scientific research by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shows these crates lead to a host of physical and behavioral problems, including weakened bones, overgrown hooves, lameness, and behavioral abnormalities to name a few. In short, gestation crates cause great suffering.
The impact of living under these conditions is not limited to animal suffering. As if subjecting animals to lifetimes of pain is not enough, studies show that breeding animals in such close, stressful quarters leads to the spread of disease and infection among the animals. This, in effect, will increase use of antibiotics and hormones that remain in the meat intended for human consumption.
In recent weeks, several corporations have stepped up and demanded an end to gestation crate use. McDonald’s, Quizno’s and Whole Foods are just some of the companies to enact policies reducing or eliminating their use of pork bred in gestation crates.
Tyson needs to feel pressured to join their competitors and work to end the use of gestation crates. This tactic is antiquated, cruel and not safe for either animals or humans. Please sign below to urge Tyson to stop this brutal practice.
Dear Tyson Foods, Inc.,
In the last few weeks many of your competitors have taken steps to end the use of gestation crates in the pork industry. It is now time for Tyson Foods to follow suit.
The use of gestation crates condemns sows to lifetimes of suffering. These crates are so small that the animal cannot even turn around. Studies by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) prove that these gestation crates cause immense physical and mental pain for the confined animals. Even so, nearly all of the pigs used in Tyson products are still confined in gestation cages.
Paul Shapiro, senior director of farm animal protection for the HSUS, expresses his concern saying, “Tyson allows pigs to be crammed into crates so small they can’t even turn around. It’s time for Tyson to ensure gestation crates aren’t used in its supply chain,” says Shapiro.
For far too long have sows brought up for breeding and slaughter been discounted. It is time for Tyson to enact progressive, sustainable policies and leave behind the primitive use of gestation crates. Please help bring this inhumane treatment to an end.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr