Renowned animal scientist Temple Grandin has disappointed many—and angered some—in the pork industry with her position on gestation stalls for sows.
Grandin believes moving from gestation stalls to better alternatives will improve the welfare of the sow. She has compared gestation stalls to a life-long sentence in a first-class airplane seat.
In a recent interview with Brownfield during a Nebraska appearance, Grandin gave no indication that she is wavering on that stance.
She says it will be virtually impossible to convince consumers that stalls are necessary to produce pork.
“You’re not going to sell that one (gestation stalls) to the public—that one’s just a no-sell,” Grandin says.
With the recent flood of announcements by fast food and grocery chains that they want to eliminate gestation stalls from their pork supply chains, some think it’s time for the pork industry to accept defeat and begin the transition to group housing.
But Columbus, Nebraska pork producer Jim Pillen is not ready to give in.
“No, the story is not over—and the game’s not over—and the marketplace will dictate that,” Pillen says.
“They’ve affected about 12 percent of the market share today—but nobody has figured out how they’re going to be able to get that,” Pillen continues. “A lot of people have just gone there—they’ve made decisions with no understanding to protect their brand.
“Time will tell where that goes for those organizations like McDonalds and Burger-King.”
Pillen Family Farms is one of Nebraska’s largest hog operations.