April 25, 2012
Contact: Cindy Cunningham
National Pork Board
National Pork Board Reacts to Burger King Announcement
Burger King Corp. announced today that it will begin purchasing pork only from suppliers with documented plans to end their use of gestation stalls for breeding pigs. Burger King states that it will “use its purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals.” However, the nation’s leading veterinary organizations recognize the use of gestation stalls as an appropriate means for protecting the health and welfare of individual sows.
“I have raised pigs indoors and out, in pens, and in stalls during my 40-plus years growing pigs,” said Everett Forkner, president of the National Pork Board and a farmer from Richards, Mo. “How I have raised pigs has changed as our industry has found new ways to improve the health and welfare of our animals. Decisions on how to care for our animals are made by farmers and veterinarians working together to provide the best care for each animal on our farms.”The National Pork Board maintains the position, similar to the positions taken by the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, that there are numerous ways, including sow gestation stalls, to provide proper care for sows. Each housing system, including gestation stalls, open pens, free-access stalls and pastures, has welfare advantages and disadvantages that must be considered by an individual farmer.
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.