Domino’s delivers ‘common sense’
Many U.S. hog farmers welcomed the news that Domino’s Pizza will continue to provide a choice of swine housing systems to its pork suppliers.
Domino’s Pizza shareholders rejected — by a majority vote of 80% — a resolution from the Humane Society of the United States(HSUS) that proposed Domino’s require its pork suppliers to end the use of gestation stalls.
The company’s proxy statement notes that its pork suppliers use animals from farms “that use a variety of animal management systems, including from farms that do not use gestation stalls.” It also says the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians have published statements indicating there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods.
“We rely on animal experts to determine what is the best way to raise an animal that’s being used for food,” Domino’s spokesman Tim McIntyre says.
“The vote to reject the HSUS resolution was a vote for common sense,” said R.C. Hunt, president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
“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.”
Animal extremist groups, including HSUS, recently influenced McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King to begin phasing out the use of gestation stalls by its pork suppliers.
Burger King recently announced that in five years it will purchase pork sourced only from farmers who do not use gestation stalls. McDonald’s and Wendy’s previously asked their pork suppliers to outline plans to eliminate gestation stalls, but a timetable was not set in either case.
“Removing sow stalls has no demonstrable health or welfare benefits to animals,” said Liz Wagstrom, NPPC chief veterinarian. NPPC supports the position of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians that notes gestation stalls are as appropriate as group housing systems for providing the wellbeing of sows during pregnancy.