Minneapolis-based General Mills, one of the largest food companies in the world, on Tuesday announced the company will support "the development of pregnant sow housing alternatives." The company markets its products in more than 100 countries.

The company announced that it “will favor pork suppliers that provide actionable plans by 2017 to create traceability and end their use of gestation crates within the U.S. pork supply chain. At General Mills, we care about animal welfare – and we support the humane treatment of animals in agriculture. Our focus extends in various ways to how animals are raised and treated."

General Mills also said it "agrees with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that judicious use of medically important antibiotic drugs can help preserve the effectiveness of these drugs as therapies for humans and animals. For that reason, we do not support routine use of antibiotic drugs to promote growth in livestock, and believe such drugs should be used only as necessary and appropriate to maintain the health of animals."

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