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Smithfield Foods pledged to make its meat more humane. An investigation says it didn’t.

Ian Duncan, an eminent scholar of animal welfare, has described gestation crates as 'one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind.'

DYLAN MATTHEWS: ‘In 2007, Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, made a startling declaration: It would begin phasing out “gestation crates,” an extremely inhumane practice that involves confining mother pigs to fenced-in areas barely larger than their bodies, where they lack any room to turn around. It’s hard to adequately convey in words the brutality involved in gestation crating. Ian Duncan, an eminent scholar of animal welfare at the University of Guelph, has described it as “one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind”…

But in a new report, the animal welfare group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), which infiltrated several Smithfield facilities in North Carolina between June 2017 and February 2018, alleges that Smithfield still uses gestation crates for pigs that are clearly pregnant, as well as pigs that have already given birth.

“It’s not uncommon to see baby pigs in gestation crates,” Wayne Hsiung, DxE’s chief organizer and one of the investigators who visited the Smithfield facilities, says. “We absolutely did see mother pigs giving birth in gestation facilities.” The cramped conditions of those facilities create a huge risk of crushing death for piglets’. SOURCE…

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