April 15th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) On Friday, Arcos Dorados – the largest operator of McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean and the franchise holder for Costa Rica, announced its “willingness to improve animal welfare” with a new requirement that its suppliers limit the use of “gestation crates” for sows, according to a statement sent to Inside Costa Rica by Humane Society International (HSI).
“Within the next two years, [the suppliers] must present documented plans to limit gestation crate use and promote group housing for sows,” the statement said.
“Currently, millions of mother pigs in Latin America spend virtually their entire lives confined to crates, unable even to turn around. [Friday’s] announcement comes after more than a year of discussions between Humane Society International and Arcos Dorados, and follows a commitment by McDonald’s to end the use of gestation crates in its U.S. supply chain by 2022.”
The lifelong confinement of sows in gestation crates is on the way out in the United States and has been banned in other places around the globe.
“Arcos Dorados’ decision is a promising step forward in our efforts to end the use of gestation crates in Latin America,” HSI said.
“HSI is working on the ground in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and many other countries to end the lifelong confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates. We’re asking multinational food retailers who are already phasing out gestation crates in the United States to extend their crate-free policies to Latin America and beyond, and petitioning other food companies, local restaurants, supermarkets and producers to also adopt more humane practices. We hope that more businesses in the region follow the lead of Arcos Dorados and remove gestation crates from their supply chains.”