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May 15, 2024

Chick-fil-A, Denny’s, Papa John’s, among restaurants using caged pigs for their pork, new report shows

Los Angeles, CA – A new report reveals which major restaurant chains are falling behind on animal welfare. The report, released today by global animal protection organization Animal Equality, identifies thirteen popular restaurants that continue to use crates for pregnant pigs despite an industry shift away from this farming practice. Among the most notable names are Papa John’s, Denny’s, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell. 

So-called ‘gestation crates’ are metal cages used in factory farming to confine pigs for all or part of their pregnancies. These crates measure two feet by seven feet, which is only slightly larger than the animals’ bodies. As stated in the report, this type of confinement restricts movement to the point that a pig can “take only a single step forward or backward and cannot fully extend her limbs.”

Companies like McDonald’s, Chipotle and The Cheesecake Factory are proving the restaurant industry does not need to cage innocent pregnant pigs. There is no excuse for this kind of abuse, especially when the majority of Americans are asking for more animal protection.

–Sharon Núñez, President of Animal Equality

As cited in Animal Equality’s report, a survey commissioned by World Animal Protection found a majority (80%) of consumers were “concerned about the treatment of factory-farmed pigs.” Consumers’ growing concern surrounding this farming practice has led numerous major restaurant companies to make meaningful progress toward reducing the use of gestation crates. Meanwhile, 11 U.S. states have outlawed or restricted their use. 

Most notably, California voters passed Proposition 12, which sets minimum space requirements for pigs, hens and calves, who are typically confined inside small enclosures. Prop 12 regulates both animal food products produced in California and products imported into the state.

This law and legislation like it, such as Massachusetts Question 3, are currently being challenged in the upcoming Farm Bill. House Agriculture Committee Chair GT Thompson recently released an outline of the House version of the Farm Bill, in which there is language that would limit a state’s ability to regulate agricultural products coming into its state. 

Despite industry shifts and consumer concerns, the newly released report points out over a dozen popular chains that are falling behind competitors on animal welfare. The companies listed in the report have either never committed to eliminating gestation crates or pledged to do so but have made little to no meaningful progress toward ending their use. Animal Equality states that the report aims to “hold companies accountable and shed light on their ongoing association with animal cruelty.”


Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals. Animal Equality works effectively for animals through investigations, corporate campaigns and legal advocacy in the United States, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and India.

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