The Retail Council of Canada has reported that all eight of the largest supermarket companies in Canada have decided to end procurement of pork produced in pork production systems that use gestation stalls over the next nine years, according to an announcement by Humane Society International's Canadian division and The Humane Society of the United States.
The companies are Costco Canada, Safeway Canada, Walmart Canada, Loblaw, Metro, Sobeys, Co-op Atlantic and Federated Co-operatives.
In a statement, the retail council said consumer expectations regarding animal welfare are changing, and it is, therefore, encouraging pork producers to meet those expectations by shifting to alternative stall-free housing for gestating sows.
The council's position comes as the National Farm Animal Care Council in Canada has said it is reviewing and revising its codes of practice to address sow housing, which may include a recommendation to phase-out gestation stalls across the nation.
The announcement was made April 29.
This applies not only to Canadian-produced pork but to imported pork, including pork produced in the U.S., a council spokesperson told Feedstuffs.
Canada represented the fourth-largest export market for U.S. pork last year, accounting for 10.9% of all U.S. pork exports.