Major pork producers will use bigger pens - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Major pork producers will use bigger pens

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MINNEAPOLIS (KWWL) -

After criticism, several major pork producers have agreed to phase out crates that keep pregnant sows in close quarters.

The pens typically used - even on smaller farms in Iowa -- don't allow the mothers to move much or turn around.

But major producers say their switch to bigger pens requires building new barns or renovating old ones; also more work, and more training... all things consumers could end up paying more for in the long run.

McDonald's recently announced its pork suppliers will have to stop using gestation crates.

Dennis Treacy is executive vice president of Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer. He calls the McDonald's announcement "a tipping point."

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