Pigs and hens suffer in cages for Aldi
A growing number of companies are ending the confinement of animals in cages. It is a cruel practice, and several US states and countries across the world have already banned it.
Aldi’s inaction shows that they don’t care about the suffering of these animals. Their “commitment to the well-being of animals” while pigs and hens spend their entire lives in cages for Aldi is a clear example of their hypocrisy and empty words.
Aldi’s professed commitment to animal welfare is not just unconvincing but hypocritical, as they continue to condone the cruelest factory farming practices in their US operations. Caging hens and pregnant pigs is an outdated and inhumane practice, at odds with the progressive steps taken by many of their competitors, and it contradicts Aldi’s own principles.
Gestation crates for pigs are a real problem… Basically, you’re asking a sow to live in an airline seat.Temple Grandin
I think it’s something that needs to be phased out.
Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science.
Colorado State University.
[T]he close confinement of sows in stalls or tethers is one of the most extreme examples of cruelty to an animal. It continues throughout much of life and is much worse than severely beating an animal.Donald M. Broom
Professor of Animal Welfare.
University of Cambridge.
Confinement of sows during pregnancy, especially in individual stalls or on tethers, can be cold, uncomfortable and injurious, and imposes severe restrictions on natural behaviour.John Webster
Sr. Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Animal Husbandry and creator of The Five Freedoms.
University of Bristol.
CRUELEST FORM OF CONFINEMENT
These 7-by-2-foot crates take an immense physical and mental toll on the animals.
Pigs cannot walk, turn around, or stand comfortably in these cages. Beneath them are hard floors with slats for the urine and feces to fall through before collecting in giant outdoor waste lagoons.
Professor Ian Duncan, a scholar of animal welfare at the University of Guelph, has described it as “one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind.”
Aldi’s double standard causes extreme animal sufferinG
Pregnant pigs are confined to cages of 7-by-2-foot that don’t let them turn around.
Research shows that these cages—gestation crates—cause physical and psychological suffering:
- Unable to move, their bones and muscles weaken,
- have open wounds due to the constant abrasion against the cage bars,
- many develop cardiovascular problems,
- overgrown hooves that cause them pain when they stand,
- digestive problems,
- and painful urinary infections.
TRAPPED IN CAGES
Hens are social animals who like to forage for food, take dust baths, perch, and care for their chicks.
In Aldi’s US operations, hens used for eggs are crammed into cages with 6 other birds, leaving each hen with less space than a standard letter.
The hens can not even spread their wings, perch, roost, nest, dust-bathe, forage, or explore. The are victims of violence from workers and their bones often break when their wings get caught in the wire. They are forced to live like this for up to two years.
Because of the poor conditions, many hens die and rot in the cage alongside their still-living companions.
Aldi falls behind competitors
In the US, ten states have restricted cages for hens, eleven states have banned gestation crates, and thousands of companies worldwide—including Aldi’s close competitors Kroger, Costco, and Target—have pledged to eliminate cages.
By using cages, Aldi lags behind many of its US competitors and contradicts its principles.
Aldi has claimed that animals must be “healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and [who are] not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.”
But hens and mother pigs in cages are constantly suffering throughout their lives. Some, exhausted and unable to move, are trampled to death by others confined in the same tiny cage.
* Images on this website represent factory farms that use cages and do not necessarily supply to Aldi.
Animal suffering knows no national borders
Animal Equality is an international organization that works with society, government, and companies to end animal cruelty.
We work in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, and India.