Smithfield Foods has turned down a demand from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to review company records on plans to eliminate gestation crates.

HSUS filed a complaint on Nov. 2, 2011 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Smithfield said in a news release that it was reviewing the document.

HSUS, in a letter to Smithfield’s president and CEO, C. Larry Pope, said it is a Smithfield shareholder and asked to see accounting and board records related to sow housing.

Smithfield said the action by HSUS is “another in a series of frivolous attacks initiated by HSUS against our business aimed at distracting us from our mission and pressuring us to accelerate the phase out of individual gestation pens – something we are already committed to doing.”

In a news release, Smithfield said progress in this area is clearly documented on the company’s Web site and Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “including the fact that 30% of sows at our company-owned farms will be in group housing by the end of 2011.

“The well-being of all our animals is one of our highest priorities, which is why we consistently seek input from our customers, consumers, experts in animal husbandry, veterinarians and animal behavior specialists.”

To learn more how Smithfield is responding to consumers regarding the HSUS complaint, visithttp://www.smithfieldcommitments.com/category/whats-happening-now/.