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McDonald's agrees to phase out inhumane pig crates

Pregnant female pigs at McDonald's pork suppliers in the U.S. will no longer be kept in crates that a number of animal rights advocates have deemed inhumane, The Associated Press reports.

McDonald's Corp. announced Monday that it will phase out the use of gestation crate in its U.S. pork suppliers in a joint statement with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to help animals lead more comfortable lives.

"I think it's going to have a seismic impact on the pork industry because it signals to every other major food retailer that this is the morally correct pathway, but it's also an economically feasible pathway," said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the HSUS.

McDonald's is one of the nation's largest buyers of pork, consuming about 1 percent of the nation's production for offerings such as its Sausage McMuffin, McRib sandwich and breakfast platters, according to the news source.

Bloomberg reports that this move by McDonald's comes 11 years after Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., which McDonald's owned a majority interest in until 2006, started to require its pork suppliers to raise pigs in humane ways. This means either outside or in cages large enough for them to move around in. It also means that they feed animals antibiotic-free and vegetarian food. 
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