Jack in the Box Inc. has become the latest major food retailer to announce that it will eliminate controversial pig gestation crates from its pork supply chain. The San Diego-based company operates and franchises more than 2,200 Jack in the Box locations and 576 Qdoba Mexican Grill locations.
“We have evaluated scientific literature…and have consulted with our suppliers and animal-welfare experts on this issue,” states Jack in the Box Inc. in its recently-updated Animal Welfare Report. “In 2012, we informed our pork suppliers of our goal to source all pork from supply systems in which pregnant sows are cared for in a group housing environment instead of gestation stalls. We have begun discussing with our suppliers how they will complete such a transition by the end of 2022.”
The Humane Society of the United States supports Jack in the Box’s progress.
“Jack in the Box knows that pigs shouldn’t be in a box, unable to move for virtually their entire lives,” states Matthew Prescott, food policy director for The HSUS. “Americans simply don’t support this inhumane treatment of pigs, and Jack in the Box’s announcement is both better for animals and a good business move.”
Similar announcements made recently by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Oscar Mayer, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and other leading food companies signal a reversal in a three-decade-old trend in the pork industry, which has left most breeding pigs confined in gestation crates during their four-month pregnancy.