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Smithfield to End Use of Gestation Stalls by 2017

by 5m Editor
9 December 2011, at 8:20am

VIRGINIA, US - President and CEO of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods reports that the company's livestock production subsidiary Murphy-Brown, LLC has made major progress toward the conversion from individual gestation stalls to group housing arrangements for pregnant sows on company farms.

Smithfield, which has often been criticized for continuing to breed sows in gestation crates that severely restrict the animals’ movement, is committed to converting sow housing to group pens.

Mr Pope said he is confident that by 31 December, the company will have completed conversions for 30 per cent of the sows on it's farms, which was Smithfield's target for this year.

According to Mr Pope, Smithfield was the first major producer in the pig industry (which includes over 60,000 producers) to publicly commit to converting sow housing to group pens and remains the only large producer to do so.

"We will continue the conversion as planned with the goal of completing conversion for all sows on company farms by the end of 2017, and today we are on course to achieve that goal. While we initially had concerns during the recession about whether we could meet the 2017 goal, we are now back on track and barring unforeseen circumstances beyond our control we are confident that we will achieve our stated goal," said Mr Pope.