HSUS targets Bob Evans

HSUS press release

The Humane Society of the United States submitted a shareholder proposal encouraging Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms restaurant chain and food manufacturer to develop a plan that would ensure its sausage, bacon and other pork products no longer come from pigs bred using gestation crates — cages used to virtually immobilize breeding pigs for nearly their entire lives. This practice is one of the most cruel and inhumane abuses in the agriculture industry.

In the pork industry, most breeding pigs are confined day and night during their four-month pregnancy in gestation crates, then are placed into another crate to give birth. They are re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate, pregnancy after pregnancy, until they are slaughtered. These crates are barely larger than the pigs’ own bodies.

“Consumers are opposed to confining pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around,” said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for The HSUS’ farm animal protection division. “For too long Bob Evans has been out of step with consumers by supporting extreme confinement of farm animals. It’s unconscionable, and puts this company way behind its competition.”

In February, McDonald’s announced plans to shepherd in a gestation crate-free supply chain, stating that “there are alternatives that we think are better for the welfare of sows” and “McDonald’s wants to see the end of sow confinement in gestation stalls in our supply chain.”

Gestation crates have been banned in eight U.S. states, including Ohio, Bob Evans’ home state. Leading animal scientists have objected to gestation crates, including Dr. Temple Grandin who stated, “We’ve got to treat animals right, and the gestation stalls have got to go.”

The proposal will be voted on at the company’s annual meeting in August. A copy of The HSUS’s shareholder resolution is available upon request.


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  1. Marilyn Isler McCabe

    This is totally uncalled for to eliminate gestation stalls for sows. That is way more humane than putting sows together so they can fight and possibly kill each other and/or eat and kill babies when they are born. Please take a closer look at what is going on here! Let’s use common sense! Have people thought this through?

  2. Maybe its time HSUS members are on a swine farm when sows are put together and then fight. Maybe THEN they will realize the REAL purpose of why many of the current practices were put into use. I no longer am involved in farming actively, but growing up on a farm our main animal commodity was raising hogs. So I have seen first hand how viscious hogs can be to each other. I find it irronic how HSUS can TELL others how to operate their businesses but never can give good alternative solutions.

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