MINNEAPOLIS – Costco Wholesale Corp. on July 17 announced it is asking suppliers to phase out the use of gestation crates for pregnant sows. The move came just as the animal rights group Mercy for Animals released a video the group said depicts abuse of pregnant sows and piglets.

Costco gave Mercy for Animals a copy of a letter it is sending to pork suppliers urging them to phase out gestation crates by 2022, according to the Associated Press. The company joins a growing tally of retailers and food companies requiring their suppliers to phase out gestation housing. Sears Holding Corp., which owns Kmart Corp. and 25 Super Kmart stores that sell groceries, and H.J. Heinz Co., recently joined the list.