Sprouts Calls On Suppliers to End Cow Mutilations

After Talks With PETA, Natural-Food Chain Gives Consideration to Suppliers That Breed Naturally Hornless Cows

For Immediate Release:
December 10, 2015

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Phoenix – Following talks with PETA, natural-food retailer Sprouts has amended its animal-welfare policy in support of polled, or naturally hornless, cattle. This decision is the first step toward eliminating dehorning—the painful process of burning or gouging the horn tissue out of animals’ heads—from the company’s supply chain. Sprouts operates over 200 stores in states that include Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

In its newly updated animal-welfare policy, the company writes that it “encourages farmers to develop programs for breeding polled, naturally hornless cows to eliminate the need for dehorning” and “[t]his approach has demonstrated success in the beef industry and we support a similar approach in the dairy industry.”

“Although PETA urges people to help end the suffering of cows by swapping cow’s milk and dairy foods for vegan milks and cheeses, we work to reduce animal suffering wherever we can,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Sprouts’ push to end dehorning among its suppliers is the first step toward sparing many young cows this agonizing pain.”

Other food companies that have recently addressed dehorning include General Mills, Denny’s, Dannon, Aramark, Kroger, Nestlé, and Dunkin’ Brands (which owns Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins). Since PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—began working behind the scenes with companies on this issue four years ago, the number of polled Holstein bulls in the U.S. has increased tenfold.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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