AGRIBUSINESS: Tyson Follows Smithfield In Practices Changes

After an announcement earlier this week that the country’s largest pork producer and processor Smithfield Foods would phase out its contractors’ gestation crates, Tyson foods has suggested big changes for its suppliers as well.

In a letter sent out on Thursday, Tyson urges wider housing spaces for gestating sows, encourages producers to discontinue the use of blunt force trauma to euthanize piglets, and voices its support of pain mitigation for tail docking and castration of piglets.

A statement out this morning from the National Pork Board stressed the importance of management decisions based on individual farming operations, and points out that no drugs are currently approved for pain mitigation in pig farming.

The Humane Society of the United States applauded the development; HSUS Food Policy Director Matt Prescott calls the letter a first step to a more humane way of conducting business, but noted that it did not mandate a timetable for adoption of the suggested practices



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