Frimesa, Brazil’s fourth largest pig processor, has announced their commitment to end the confinement of pregnant pigs in gestation crates by 2026. The company will be transitioning all of their sows to group housing systems that offer higher animal welfare. The company raises 80,000 sows in their farms across Brazil. This policy follows discussions with Humane Society International, which welcomed the announcement.
Pigs are highly intelligent, active and social animals. Yet, in Brazil, as in many countries, most breeding sows are confined in individual gestation crates during pregnancy, which typically amounts to a lifetime of confinement as they are repeatedly impregnated. These crates are barely larger than the animals’ bodies and prevent them from turning around or taking more than a few steps forward or backward. Extensive scientific research has proven that such extreme confinement causes significant emotional distress and physical problems, such as urinary infections and lameness.
Fernanda Vieira, corporate policy and program manager for HSI in Brazil, said: “We welcome Frimesa’s commitment to switching to more humane crate-free housing systems for their breeding sows. Consumers care about the way animals are treated in food production and oppose the cruel, lifelong confinement of sows in gestation crates. The trend is growing clear that Brazil and the rest of the world are moving away from gestation crates. We will continue to work with other pork producers on similar policies.”
Frimesa joins Brazil’s three largest pork processors – BRF, JBS and Aurora Alimentos, as well as other leading global pork producers, including Smithfield Foods, Cargill, Maple Leaf Foods and Hormel – that have already transitioned or are transitioning to crate-free group housing systems. Leading food corporations are also eliminating pork from producers that use gestation crates from their Latin American supply chains, including Arcos Dorados, the largest McDonald’s franchise in Latin America and the Caribbean, Subway, Burger King, Royal Caribbean, Marriot International, Hilton Worldwide, Nestle and others.
The European Union and several states in the United States have banned the continuous confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates. New Zealand and Australia have also begun phasing out gestation crates. The South Africa Pork Producers Organization expects to phase out the practice by 2020.
Media contact: Fernanda Vieira, firstname.lastname@example.org, 11 9 8905 3848