Safeway, Sobeys, Walmart and others will phase out controversial pig cages
The Retail Council of Canada announced eight of the largest Canadian supermarket chains will phase out sow gestation crates in their pork supply chains.
Over the next nine years, major grocery stores including Walmart, Costco, Safeway and Sobeys will find alternative housing options for the pigs that supply their products.
Other stores include Metro, Loblaw, Federated Co-operatives and Co-op Atlantic.
“We applaud the Retail Council of Canada and its members for taking seriously one of the most critical animal welfare issues in food production today,” said Sayara Thurston, a campaigner with Humane Society International.
“The Canadian food industry has made it clearer than ever that these unsustainable and inhumane cages have no future in pork production, and we encourage pork producers to make the transition to group housing systems as quickly as possible.”
Change prompted by investigation into gestation crates
Last December, Mercy for Animals Canada released hidden camera footage taken during an undercover investigation at a Puratone plant in Manitoba.
The video documented the use of gestation crates for sows, known in the industry as conventional cages, which animal rights activists say are cruel because pigs are unable to turn around or lie down comfortably.
After the release of the video, several retailers got on board with phasing out the gestation crates.
Several countries have banned the controversial pig cages over animal welfare concerns.
Calgary Co-op voted to phase out pork and eggs produced in gestation crates
Last month Calgary Co-op members voted in favour of a resolution to phase-out the sale of eggs and pork produced using gestation crates.
The original motion called for the phase-out to happen over a three-year period, although an amendment extended the deadline to five years.
The motion has to be approved by the board of directors before it can be implemented.