April 11, 2014
Arcos Dorados Commits to Improving Pig Welfare
Today, Arcos Dorados—the largest operator of McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee—demonstrated its willingness to improve animal welfare with a new requirement for its pork suppliers: Within the next two years, they must present documented plans to limit gestation crate use and promote group housing for sows. Twenty countries in Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico (two of the company’s largest markets) will be affected.
Currently, millions of mother pigs in Latin America spend virtually their entire lives confined to crates, unable even to turn around. Today’s announcement comes after more than a year of discussions between Humane Society International and Arcos Dorados, and follows a commitment by McDonald’s to end the use of gestation crates in its U.S. supply chain by 2022.
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The lifelong confinement of sows in gestation crates is on the way out in the United States and has been banned in other places around the globe, including throughout the European Union and just recently in Canada. Dozens of U.S.-based food retailers are planning to eliminate gestation crates from their pork supply chains and Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, has also pledged a complete phase-out of crates globally by 2022. Arcos Dorados’ decision is a promising step forward in our efforts to end the use of gestation crates in Latin America.
HSI is working on the ground in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and many other countries to end the lifelong confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates. We’re asking multinational food retailers who are already phasing out gestation crates in the United States to extend their crate-free policies to Latin America and beyond, and petitioning other food companies, local restaurants, supermarkets and producers to also adopt more humane practices. We hope that more businesses in the region follow the lead of Arcos Dorados and remove gestation crates from their supply chains.
HSI looks forward to working closely with Arcos Dorados throughout the coming transition. Donate to support our work.