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Tyson Demands Better Treatment Of Hogs By Its Suppliers


By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Tyson Foods Inc., the nation's second largest pork producer, said Thursday it will require more humane animal treatment farmers that raise its pigs and keep a closer eye on all of its hog suppliers in North America.

Tyson said it will be rolling out more third-party inspections this year of sow farms that supply it animals. And after an undercover video last year caught an Oklahomafarm operation abusing some of Tyson's own pigs, the company will require all to install video-monitoring systems by year's end, according to a letter Tyson sent out to farmers on Wednesday.

Tyson also said in the letter it will force its contract farmers to stop euthanizing sick or injured piglets by blunt force, such as slamming a piglet's head against the ground in order to kill it.

Many of these new hog rules for hog producers, according to the letter sent out this week, are required for only those farmers that raise pigs owned by Tyson: Less than 5 percent of the company's annual hog supply in North America comes from these operations, Mickelson said.

The company is also asking these contract farmers to roll out pens for pregnant sows that have improved "quality and quantity of space," according to the letter.