WASHINGTON – Denny’s announced it will move to end the use of pork sourced from producers who use gestation crates to confine pregnant sows.

“Denny’s takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen seriously, which is why we have adopted a strong position on animal welfare,” said Greg Linford, Denny’s vice president, procurement and distribution. “We will endeavor to purchase products from companies that provide gestation crate-free pork and are committed to influencing our suppliers to share in a gestation crate-free vision for the future.

“Working to eliminate gestation crates is best for our company, our guests, and our continued work to improve animal welfare,” he said.

Denny’s and the Humane Society of the United States have been working closely to address animal welfare issues, according to HSUS. In 2008, the company switched to cage-free eggs. Denny’s is one of the largest restaurant chains in the US with 1,650 units.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with Denny’s, and the company is serious about dealing with farm animal welfare issues in a meaningful way,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer for The HSUS. “We welcome the news that Denny’s will move its supply chain to a gestation crate-free future.”

Denny’s joins several food companies that have pledged to require suppliers to create and implement plans to phase out gestation crates, including Burger King, McDonald’s, and Compass Group and Bon Appetit Management Company both large foodservice providers. Suppliers that have announced they will end use of gestation crates include Smithfield Foods, Hormel Foods and Cargill.