New challenge to the board of Tyson Foods

New challenge to the board of Tyson Foods

In a most unusual and dramatic move the chief executive of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, is seeking a place on the board of one of the world’s largest meat producers, Tyson Foods.

Pacelle, who has been CEO of the Society for eight years said: “It’s certainly unusual for a lifelong animal advocate to run for the board of the second biggest meat company in the world. Nonetheless, it is imperative that a voice on Tyson’s board speak for the company’s many customers, partners and investors who are demanding the end of gestation crates and more humane treatment of animals.”

In response to the move Tyson issued a statement saying: “We’re not surprised Wayne Pacelle wants to sit on our board. We’re handling the nomination according to the law and our company’s by-laws. We’re committed to humane animal treatment and expect the same from the independent family farmers who supply us with chickens, hogs and cattle.”

The Society reported that Pacelle had decided to run for Tyson’s board to encourage management there to take certain critical steps to improve the treatment of animals in its supply chain, and not fall behind its major competitors. It says its primary focus has been for the company to join the scores of other companies who have committed to end the use of gestation crates, including the nation’s top pig producer and Tyson’s main competitor in this space, Smithfield Foods, which set a 2017 timeframe to complete its transition to group housing systems for its company-owned facilities. Hormel Foods also announced the same policy, and Cargill has been at least 50% gestation crate-free for five years.

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