Target Corporation calls for changes to pork production - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Target Corporation calls for changes to pork production


PRESTON, Minn (KTTC) -- Target corporation is the most recent major food company to tell its pork suppliers to phase out a small stall used to hold pregnant pigs.

More than 30 food companies have agreed to eliminate the cages - and the announcement is welcomed by the Humane Society of the United States.

Now that the countries 4th largest food retailer is asking its pork suppliers to phase out gestation crates by 2022, local hog farmers are starting to worry about what that could mean for their businesses if this more retailers jump on board.

Craig Mensink took over his family hog farm in 1977, and he says new rules would mean big changes for his farm, and others in the area.

Bigger pens would take up more space than gestation stalls.

If farmers couldn't buy more land or build more barns that would mean a 20 percent reduction in pork production.

That would mean a spike in the price of pork products here at home.

This reduction in output also comes along with the expense of retrofitting old barns with new pens.

That and Mensink says the gestation stalls do have a lot of benefits.

They prevent pregnant sows form fighting each other, and help farmers treat and prevent spread of illness in the pigs.

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