McRib Pigs' Conditions Appalling: Humane Society

Supplier misleading about animals' condition, group says
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2011 5:20 PM CDT
Updated Nov 5, 2011 8:00 AM CDT
McRib Pork Supplier Smithfield Keeps Pigs in Appalling Conditions: Humane Society
The pork used in McRib sandwiches comes from a supplier that mistreats its pigs, the Humane Society says.   (PRNewsFoto/McDonald's)

Your much-hyped McRib sandwich may have a dark past. The Humane Society has filed a complaint with the feds that McDonald’s pork supplier, Smithfield Foods, has misled consumers regarding how it treats its animals. Smithfield, which has won a “supplier sustainability” award from the restaurant chain, calls its pigs’ living conditions “ideal” and says it is “100% committed” to their care. But an undercover investigation by the Humane Society last year concluded just the opposite, writes James McWilliams at the Atlantic.

Among the details: Female pigs couldn’t move in their gestation crates; some crates were covered in blood from pigs chewing the bars; pigs were castrated without anesthesia; and no veterinarians were in evidence. “It doesn't take a veterinarian to know that locking a 500-pound animal in a cage so cramped she can't even turn around for months on end isn't exactly 'ideal,’” says a Humane Society rep. The restaurant “should heed the advice of its own animal welfare advisers and dump gestation crates from its supply chain.” (More McRib stories.)

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