ConAgra Foods, Inc., one of North America's leading food companies, Monday issued the following statement regarding the use of gestation housing for sows by pork producers:

“As part of our long-standing commitment to the humane treatment and handling of animals, ConAgra Foods supports the elimination of gestation stall housing for sows. We are asking our pork suppliers to present actionable plans by 2017 that address both the elimination of gestation stalls and creation of traceability systems within the pork supply chain.

“We recognize that implementing a phase-out may be a long-term process, and could take up to 10 years. ConAgra Foods intends to continue working with pork suppliers who share our commitment to the best animal welfare and handling practices.” For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.

Also recently, The Hillshire Brands Company announced it is actively engaged in holding fact-based discussions with its suppliers and industry on alternatives to traditional gestation housing and intend to have these changes in place by 2022.

The Downers Grove, IL-based company says it plans to source all pork from suppliers who use housing that provides the animals the opportunity for adequate movement and comfort, while also ensuring their safety. The goal is for suppliers to combine quality animal care and worker safety with solutions that are adaptable for farm family operations of all sizes.

“Hillshire Brands takes concerns about the welfare of animals seriously, which is why we have a comprehensive Animal Well-Being Program in place,” says Mike Cummins, director of corporate communications. “We know we share a responsibility to ensure the meat we sell is safe and that it comes from animals raised in a humane way.”

All of Hillshire Brands’ meat suppliers must complete appropriate audits and certifications before they can work with the company. Learn more at http://www.hillshirebrands.com.