skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Animal rights group wants to end use of livestock gestation crates

play audio
Play

Thursday, June 6, 2024   

An international animal right's group is calling on the U.S. restaurant chain industry to reduce or eliminate the use of gestation crates for livestock and poultry grown for meat.

Since 2002, 11 states have restricted or banned gestation crates but Utah is not among them. Pork producers keep sows in these cramped crates throughout their lives, artificially impregnate them and take away their young to keep up with the demand for meat.

As of December 2021, Utah farms accounted for just over 1% of the total U.S. hog inventory, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

Devon Dear, institutional outreach manager for the group Animal Equality, said improvements have been made, but more needs to be done.

"We've seen some really big players in this industry move away from crates; McDonald's, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, Chipotle, Shake Shack, Panera Bread," Dear outlined. "These companies have significantly reduced or eliminated crates from their supply chain, so we know it can be done successfully."

Dear added around 60% of pigs in the U.S. are crated for their entire pregnancies and will spend, on average, 74% of their lives in crates. The report lists corporations like Denny's, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin' and KFC among others as not being aggressive enough in reducing their crate usage. Dear hopes the Farm Bill currently being debated in Congress can help advance the issue.

Dear argued despite what is happening with state and national-level legislative efforts, companies have what she called "a corporate responsibility," to treat animals in their supply chain humanely. She explained the use of crates among farming operations gained popularity in the 80s and 90s in an effort to maximize profits and efficiency.

She emphasized the practice comes with a hefty price tag, especially for the animals.

"When you have this many animals in one place, you're getting really high concentrations of feces. You're having all the environmental impacts of this," Dear pointed out. "Pigs produce a ton of waste and this has to be disposed of properly to not make nearby communities sick. The pigs in these barns are in distress and they are either, screaming or completely silent, neither which is a natural behavior."

Dear added as a result of the pigs being in crates, they experience much higher levels of stress which then translates to more antibiotic use and can lead to issues with run off into ground and surface water. One of the largest pork producers, Smithfield, which has operations in Utah and has confronted legal challenges, has stated they are phasing out the use of gestation crates.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

play sound

Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of educators from across the nation will be in Houston starting this weekend for the American Federation of Teachers annual convention…


The Illinois State Board of Education report card said O'Fallon Township High School HSD #203 is currently only funded at 64%. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Counterfeit medicine sales are on the rise, in Connecticut and nationwide. The state faced trouble with growing sales of counterfeit Xanax pills …

"Arizonans understand that it is insane to risk Phoenix or Tempe for Odesa or some corn field in Ukraine. It is not in our national interest to get involved," said U.S. Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Ariz. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Environment

play sound

So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Social Issues

play sound

Postsecondary enrollment data for 2023 shows community college enrollment increased nationwide by more than 100,000 students, and a large percentage …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021