McDonald's Corp. announced Monday that it would begin developing a plan to transition its pork supply away from farmers who use conventional sow gestation stalls.

Following is a statement from the National Pork Board in response to that action:

“The National Pork Board recognizes that food companies, including McDonald's, make decisions in the best interests of their businesses.

“At the same time, the National Pork Board maintains the position, supported by the American Veterinary Medical 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.  Regardless of the type of system used, what really matters is the individual care given to each pig – a mainstay of our industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program.

“The National Pork Board looks forward to sharing the results of peer-reviewed research it has conducted in the areas of animal care and food safety as McDonald's begins implementing its decision.”

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.