MIAMI – Burger King Corp. announced it will only buy pork from suppliers with documented plans to end use of gestation crates for sows and plans to transition the company’s supply chain to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2017.

“For more than a decade, Burger King Corp. has demonstrated a commitment to animal welfare and, through our BK Positive Steps corporate responsibility program, we continue to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers,” said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer, Burger King Corp. “We are proud to announce these new, industry-leading commitments that support meaningful standards of humane treatment in our US supply chain.”

The company said Burger King was the first major quick-serve restaurant chain to implement animal welfare policies aimed at reducing cage confinement of egg-laying hens. Since 2007, the company has continued incorporating more cage-free eggs and buying gestation stall-free pork into its supply chain. The company operates 12,500 restaurants globally.

“Burger King Corp. has demonstrated when it comes to America’s largest fast food chains, it continues to set the standard,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of The Humane Society of the United States. “These changes by Burger King Corp. will improve life for countless farm animals and encourage other companies to abide by animal welfare principles up and down their supply chain.”