Smithfield Reneges on Promise to Improve Conditions for Pigs

Published by PETA.
gestation crate

Smithfield execs, who live high off the hog—actually, it’s more like about 27 million hogs—have just decided that they cannot keep their promise to phase out gestation crates over the next 10 years.

Smithfield states, “Due to recent significant operating losses incurred by our Hog Production segment, we have delayed capital expenditures for the program such that we no longer expect to complete the phase-out within ten years of the original announcement.”

These gestation crates that Smithfield is dragging its feet on phasing out are called “iron maidens” after medieval torture devices, and for good reason—sows kept in them cannot turn around, and their muscles atrophy. Over time, pigs kept in these horrid conditions develop sores from lying on filthy concrete and go insane from the confinement.

Consider that just three years’ compensation for Smithfield’s directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out. Smithfield’s claim that it can’t spare pennies a pig to improve these animals’ living conditions makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist and erodes any trust the company hopes to build with its consumers or with PETA.

Once again, animal welfare has taken a backseat to corporate profit. Smithfield can rest assured that we’ll be at its annual meeting this August, making sure that pigs are heard.

Written by Karin Bennett

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind