Brazil-based meat and poultry processor JBS SA is phasing out the use of gestation crates, the company revealed in its annual sustainability report.

JBS SA, which is the parent company of Seara Brasil, stated that it will transition into group housing systems, with the investment in the transition being completed by 2016. The company further stated that all new units will adopt group housing systems for breeding sows and that their contract suppliers will also receive support from the company in the transition to group housing.

JBS SA’s move away from gestation crates has received the applause of animal welfare groups such as Humane Society International.


JBS SA is just one of many companies to implement a move away from gestation crates. Brazilian rival company BRF in late 2014 announced that it would phase out the housing practice over the next 12 years. Other major pork producers such as Smithfield Foods and Cargill have also moved away from the use of gestation crates.

The trend to move away from gestation crates has also been embraced by many pork processors’ major customers. Among companies to move to serving and selling crate-free pork in recent months include Walmart, Hilton Worldwide, Dunkin’ Donuts, Heinz, Nestlé and Roundy’s.