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Hormel Ending Tight Confinement For Pregnant Pigs

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Humane Society of the United States is welcoming a statement from Hormel Foods Corp. that its company-owned farms are phasing out the use of small metal crates for confining pregnant hogs by the end of 2017.

The HSUS says gestation crates severely restrict the animals’ movements. Six weeks ago, the world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods Inc., said it would stop using them by 2017.

Matthew Dominguez with the society’s farm animal protection campaign says the first word his group got of Hormel’s change was at the company’s shareholders meeting in Austin, Minn., Tuesday night when he posed the question to CEO Jeffrey Ettinger.

Hormel did not immediately respond to questions about when it made the policy change. Its company-owned farms are in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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