An HSUS undercover investigator recently documented the suffering endured by female breeding pigs held in severely restrictive gestation crates on a factory farm operated by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, in Waverly, Virginia. Gestation crates are exceptionally cruel and have been banned by the European Union, New Zealand and seven U.S. states. In 2007, Smithfield said it would phase out the use of gestation crates by 2017, yet in 2009 it said it could no longer meet its self-imposed and very lenient deadline.
Many of these highly intelligent and inquisitive pigs develop pressure sores and infections from crate-related injuries and from simply lying in the same position without relief. Out of sheer boredom, they engage in repetitive behaviors — such as bar biting and head swaying — sometimes injuring themselves in the process.
Please send C. Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield, a message urging him to recommit to the company's original promise and stop the use of these inhumane gestation crates on Smithfield's factory farms by 2017.