Jack in the Box to Fade Out Gestation Crates
by: Katie Grimmer
September 17, 2012
Gestation crates are individual metal enclosures that are lined side-by-side with very little moving room, not unlike jail cells. Also knows as sow stalls, the semi-permanent cages are home to over 80 percent of U.S. breeding pigs in production operations of 1,000 or more sows.
Jack in the Box, Inc., who operates more than 2,200 Jack in the Box franchises and over 600 Qdoba Mexican Grill locations nationwide, recently pledged to eliminate these gestation crates by 2022 in its September 2012 Annual Welfare Report. By that time all of the company’s suppliers should have the breeding pigs out of the cages and into the group housing, where the sows co-inhabit in pens.
“In 2012, we informed our pork suppliers of our goal to source all pork from supply systems in which pregnant sows are cared for in a group housing environment instead of gestation stalls,” the company said in the report.
Those in favor of sow stalls believe they prevent injuries, eliminate competition during feeding and better ensure veterinarian monitoring, the report states. However the Humane Society says that the cages are so small — two feet wide — that the pregnant animal can’t even turn around. Nine states have already passed laws prohibiting gestation crates.