WASHINGTON – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is praising Domino’s Pizza shareholders for rejecting a recent resolution from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) requiring its pork suppliers to stop the use of gestation stalls. On April 25, a majority vote of 80 percent of Domino’s shareholders voted to reject the group’s proposal. Animal-activist groups, like HSUS, recently have influenced several prominent foodservice companies, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King, to change their policies on sow housing, NPPC relayed.
“The vote to reject the HSUS resolution was a vote for common sense,” said NPPC President R.C. Hunt. “We appreciate Domino’s belief that America’s farmers, veterinarians and other animal agriculture experts are better suited than activist groups to determine what the best animal care practices are.”
According to NPPC, US pork producers rely on the experience and knowledge of animal-care experts, including the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, when designing housing and handling their animals. These associations recognize both gestation stalls and group housing systems as appropriate for providing for the well-being of sows during pregnancy.
“Removing sow stalls has no demonstrable health or welfare benefits to animals,” said Dr. Liz Wagstrom, NPPC chief veterinarian. “In fact, the key factor that most affects animal well-being is husbandry skills – that is, the care given to each animal. There is no scientific consensus on the best way to house gestating sows because each type of housing system has inherent advantages and disadvantages.”