Wendy's to give preference for animal welfare practices

by Keith Nunes
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DUBLIN, OHIO — Wendy’s International, Inc. will give buying preference to pork suppliers that do not use gestation crates and chicken suppliers that do use controlled atmosphere stunning (C.A.S.).

"We believe these actions will lead our suppliers and others in the pork and chicken industry to continue to identify improved methods of handling animals prior to processing," said Tad Wampfler, Wendy’s senior vice-president of supply chain management. "These actions continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the principles of humane animal treatment."

Currently, at least 10% of Wendy’s pork products are from hogs not raised in gestation stalls. The company’s goal is to reach 20% by the end of 2008 and continue to increase over time. Wendy’s animal-welfare experts recently visited a turkey processing facility and recommended the company grant preferred status to suppliers that are actively using or testing the C.A.S. technology.

In May, Wendy’s posted a statement on its web site that said the company agreed with industry efforts to move away from gestation crates. At the time, the company also said it considered C.A.S. to be a "developing new technology."

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