Tyson Foods announced Thursday it will require its suppliers to ensure more humane treatment of hogs.The nation’s second largest pork producer wantsvideo monitoring to increase oversight of the operations, a ban on the use of blunt force to kill sick piglets, and requires farmers to farmers to end the use of small stalls, known as gestation crates.
The humane treatment guidelines were sent in a letter to Tyson Foods’ 3,000 independent suppliers. The company asked hog producers to implement the improved “quality and quantity of space” standards in any newly built or redesigned gestation barns beginning in 2014. However, many of the new rules are only required for hog operations that have pigs owned by Tyson Foods which is less than 5 percent of the company’s annual hog supply in North America, according to a company spokesman.
Critics of Tyson’s practices think the changes are a step in the right direction, but not yet enough. “Unfortunately, Tyson’s letter does not mandate anything of its suppliers with regard to sow housing, nor does it outline any timeline by which alternative housing systems must be in place,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States said.