San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc., has joined the growing list of restaurants, grocery store chains and institutional food suppliers in eliminating gestation-sow stalls from the company’s supply chain. The company will expect compliance by its pork suppliers by the end of 2022.

Jack in the Box operates more than 2,200 restaurants in 20 states. The company also operates and franchises Qdoba Mexican Grill, with more than 600 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

The company made the announcement in an animal welfare report issued earlier this week. “We informed our pork suppliers of our goal to source all pork from supply systems in which pregnant sows are cared for in a group housing environment instead of gestation stalls,” according to the report. “We have begun discussing with our suppliers how they will complete such a transition by the end of 2022.

The report also discusses the company’s viewpoint on a variety of other animal welfare issues, including hens raised for egg production.

The restaurant company joins a growing list of suppliers asking its pork supply chain to eliminate gestation stalls from their production facilities. Other companies include McDonald's, Denny’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Campbell, Kroger, Safeway and Sysco.

In response to the companies requesting elimination of gestation stall production systems the U.S. pork industry has pointed out that each gestation housing system has advantages and disadvantages. The National Pork Board (NPB) maintains the position, similar to the positions taken by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), that there are numerous ways, including sow gestation stalls, to provide proper care for sows.

Each sow housing system, including gestation stalls, open pens, free-access stalls and pastures, has welfare advantages and disadvantages that must be considered by an individual farmer, according to a NPB statement.