World Animal Protection applauds Kroger on commitment to end the use of gestation crates for pigs

August 29 2018

Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the US, has committed to phasing out cruel gestation crates in their supply chain by 2025.

As the largest supermarket chain in the United States by revenue, and with more than 2,000 stores in 35 states, Kroger will transform the lives of thousands of pigs with its industry-leading commitment to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Following a World Animal Protection petition signed by more than 72,000 supporters calling on the supermarket giant to protect pigs, Kroger has publicly disclosed a stated goal of sourcing 100% of the fresh pork the company sells from suppliers that have transitioned all their self-operated and contracted farms away from gestation crates by 2025.

We applaud this move, and believe it is a critical step in changing an industry that has enabled the growth of factory farming for far too long. Leading supermarket brands like Kroger have the power to end this needless suffering, and commitments like this are the first step to improving the lives of pigs on factory farms. 

Three out of four of the world’s mother pigs spend most of their lives in steel cages no bigger than a refrigerator, unable to turn around or move freely. They suffer at every stage of their lives.

“We are glad that Kroger has listened to the public and made this industry-leading commitment to improve the lives of pigs,” said Alesia Soltanpanah, our Executive Director here in the US.

As one of the first grocery store chains to transition to cage-free eggs, Kroger has long been a food industry leader on animal welfare policies.

A mother pig in enriched group housing

“Mother pigs in gestation crates suffer terribly, but a more humane way to raise pigs is possible, as Kroger has committed to,” said Soltanpanah. “We urge all major food companies to follow Kroger’s lead by phasing out gestation crates and encourage Kroger to share updates on its progress towards its goal.”

Humane farming is good for animals, healthier for people, and a best practice for business. Good animal welfare practices reduce stress, injury and disease, decreasing the overuse of antibiotics. More antibiotics are used for animals in the US than for humans. World Animal Protection urges all national supermarket chains to follow Kroger’s example by implementing clear, time-bound commitments to eliminate gestation crates for pigs from their supply chain. Companies should also share transparent updates on their progress.

World Animal Protection’s global Raise Pigs Right campaign is calling on the world’s supermarkets to end close confinement, barren environments and mutilations of pigs in their supply by introducing higher welfare sourcing policies for pork.

All of this could not have been done without our amazing supporters who signed our petition calling on Kroger to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Mother pigs in enriched group housing

We'd like to thank all of you who signed, and we'd like to thank Kroger for engaging in talks with us and making a public commitment to higher welfare.

What more can you do to support better pig welfare? You can contact your local grocery store about where they source their pork. Ask them to do better on labeling so you know where the pork is sourced from and demand that they have higher welfare pork from pigs that have been raised right. Retailers carry what consumers demand so you can help #RaisePigsRight by speaking up. 

Look out for more updates from us in the coming months and thank you for your support in achieving this victory for pigs.

“We are glad that Kroger has listened to the public and made this industry-leading commitment to improve the lives of pigs,” said Alesia Soltanpanah, Executive Director US.

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