Target: Donnie Smith, CEO, Tyson Foods
Goal: Applaud new animal welfare demands from America’s largest pork producer
Tyson Foods, the largest pork producer in the United States, has announced that it will require new animal welfare standards from its contract suppliers. In order to meet the growing consumer demand for more humanely sourced meat, the company will be inspecting all of its suppliers to ensure that changes are properly implemented. Tyson will also require video surveillance to be installed in each farm, reducing the chance that abuse will go unnoticed.
Among the changes will be an end to gestation crates, small and filthy enclosures for pregnant sows in which they cannot move or turn around. The pork giant will request larger pens, with improved quality and quantity of space, to “allow sows of all sizes to stand, turn around, lie down and stretch their legs.”
Tyson Foods is also demanding an end to euthanasia of piglets via blunt force trauma. This will disallow the practice of bashing piglets’ skulls onto floors or walls in order to kill them, a cheap and widely-used way to dispose of unwanted male piglets. Pain mitigation methods will now be used during tail docking and castration.
This announcement comes just weeks after the producer dropped a supplier for animal cruelty. The Oklahoma-based operation’s contract was terminated after video footage surfaced of plant workers kicking, hitting with wooden boards, and gouging the eyes of pigs.
Tyson Foods is making a marked effort to reduce animal cruelty in the hog farming industry. These small changes will make a world of difference to sows, who often spend most of their lives in gestation crates, as well as nearly every pig on a Tyson farm. Commend Tyson Foods’ push for more compassionate farming, and encourage them to continue raising United States farm welfare standards.
Dear Donnie Smith, CEO, Tyson Foods,
Tyson Foods has recently announced a demand for increased animal welfare standards among suppliers. The changes will include the replacement of gestation crates with larger, more comfortable enclosures. No longer will farm workers be allowed to bash the skulls of piglets against floors in order to euthanize them, and pain mitigation measures will be required for tail docking and castration. These changes will be enforced by an increase in third-party inspections and video surveillance installations.
These changes, combined with the recent termination of a producer for its cruel methods, demonstrate Tyson Foods’ effort to become a more compassionate producer. Thank you for setting a positive welfare example for the American hog farming industry, and please continue to do so.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: SlimVirgin via Wikimedia Commons