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Ear to the Ground

Costco Joins Fight Against Sow Confinement

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Posted on Jul 17, 2012
Screenshot of a Mercy For Animals video

Costco has added its name to a list of retailers and restaurants that have seeking to end the practice of keeping pregnant sows in tight pens. The retail giant asked its suppliers Tuesday to phase out the gestation crates. The move came after an animal rights group released an undercover video of housing conditions at a major Minnesota hog producer.

Christensen Farms also supplies pork products to Walmart.

—Posted by Tracy Bloom

Minneapolis Star Tribune:

The video shot by Mercy For Animals at Christensen Farms’ hog barn in Hanska, a south central Minnesota town, shows sows in gestation crates, a commonly used pen in the hog industry.

The video was specifically aimed at getting one of Christensen’s major customers, Costco, to end the use of gestation crates in its supply system, and on Tuesday Costco sent a missive to its suppliers encouraging them to phase out gestation crates by 2022.

Mercy For Animals commended Costco for its action, though a Costco spokesman said the timing of the letter was not predicated by the video.

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