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|Originally Posted: 16 Dec 2010|
Tell Smithfield No More Gestation Crates
Please send C. Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield, a message urging him to recommit to the company's original promise and stop the use of these inhumane gestation crates on Smithfield's factory farms by 2017.
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INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
An HSUS undercover investigator recently documented the suffering endured by female breeding pigs held in severely restrictive gestation crates on a factory farm operated by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, in Waverly, Virginia. Gestation crates are exceptionally cruel and have been banned by the European Union, New Zealand and seven U.S. states. In 2007, Smithfield said it would phase out the use of gestation crates by 2017, yet in 2009 it said it could no longer meet its self-imposed and very lenient deadline.
Many of these highly intelligent and inquisitive pigs develop pressure sores and infections from crate-related injuries and from simply lying in the same position without relief. Out of sheer boredom, they engage in repetitive behaviors — such as bar biting and head swaying — sometimes injuring themselves in the process.
In 2007 Smithfield promised to stop putting female breeding pigs in horrible metal gestation crates on all of its farms by 2017--a very lenient, self-imposed deadline. In 2009 you stated you could no longer meet that deadline, despite the fact that Smithfield just reported its most profitable quarter ever. I am sickened by the video taken by The Humane Society of the United States on one of your factory farms in Virginia. The images of the pigs' miserable existence in the tiny crates that don't even allow them to turn around will stay with me as will the wounds and injuries they suffer as a result of this extreme life-long confinement.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!