Cruise firm ensures animal welfare is shipshape

14 December 2012
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15 December 2012 | Anna Reynolds

Royal Caribbean Cruises will no longer source pork from suppliers who use cages to confine breeding pigs in its supply chain.

In a statement, Michael Jones, vice president of supply chain management for Royal Caribbean Cruises, said: “Royal Caribbean is committed to keeping the treatment of animals in consideration when supplying our fleet with food.

“Royal Caribbean supports the pork industry’s work to eliminate gestation crates from operation by 2022, and our company has set that date as our target for having a gestation crate-free pork supply chain.”

Gestation crates are roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies, making it impossible for them to turn around. It is a controversial trend in the pork industry to keep breeding pigs confined in the crates day and night during their four-month pregnancy. The animals are transferred into another crate to give birth before being impregnated again and returned to a gestation crate.

The move by Royal Caribbean follows similar announcements made recently by McDonalds, Burger King and Costco.

The Humane Society of the US has congratulated the cruise operator for its latest promise. Matthew Prescott, food policy director for the Society said: “Royal Caribbean has a long-standing animal welfare programme and has been a good partner in working toward improved conditions for animals. By eliminating gestation crates, Royal Caribbean is taking a positive step away from a practice that people and companies worldwide have condemned.”

The European Union and nine US states have passed laws to ban the use of the crates.

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