Animal Activists Protest Walmart, Call for Change
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Members of "Mercy for Animals" say they have proof that Walmart pork suppliers practice animal cruelty.
They protested Monday morning in front of Walmart on North Avenue to spread the awareness of the abuse being done to pigs.
“The hidden cost of Walmart’s cheap pork is animal cruelty,” said Phil Letten, of “Mercy for Animals.”
Letten says that through undercover investigation, "Mercy for Animals" can confirm that numerous Walmart pork suppliers confine pigs into metal crates that are so small that the animals cant even turn around in for most of their lives.
“These crates are so cruel that they actually have been banned in 9 U.S states and the entire European Union, yet Walmart continues to sell pork from factories that use them.”
“I just do not believe in the cruelty that is done to these animals,” said Rhonda Dunlap, Grand Junction resident participating in the protest.
Other major food providers like Costco, Safeway and City Market recently have banned these crates.
“We regularly audit our suppliers to ensure that these animals are raised and transported and processed in a humane way as possible,” said Kelli McGannon of City Market.
But according to Walmart officials, they realize it’s an issue. NewsChannel 5 spoke with a spokesperson who told us this:
“This is a complicated issue. We’re listening closely to points of view from farmers, food manufacturers, animal rights organizations, customers and others. We think constructive dialogue and a collaborative approach is the right path to the right solution.
We hold our suppliers to the highest standards and do not tolerate animal mistreatment.
We are currently engaged with pork suppliers, food safety experts and other organizations to work towards an industry-wide model that is not only respectful of farmers and animals, but also meets our customers expectations for quality and animal safety.”
Letten says they want Walmart to follow different practices just like other food providers do. They are calling it an end to the sale of "crated pork.”
“We are just calling on Walmart to take a stance of the animal abuse by committing to doing away with one of the cruelest factory farming positions in existence by ending the sale of crated pork,” said Letten.
Officials say changing this process could take years.
NewsChannel 5 also reached out to the National Pork Producer Council but still waiting to hear back for a comment.