Wendy's International officials say that the company's restaurants will give preferential treatment to pork and chicken suppliers who "adhere to enhanced animal welfare standards."

According to the Dublin-Ohio based fast-food chain, by 2008, the goal is to source 20 percent of its pork from suppliers that don't use gestation-sow stalls. Wendy's officials say they hope to expand that percentage over time.

They said on Thursday that the company also will give preferential treatment to chicken processors that are actively exploring and testing controlled-atmosphere-stunning systems as an alternative to electrical stunning, reports Meatingplace.com.

"We believe these actions will lead our suppliers and others in the pork and chicken industries to continue to identify improved methods of handling animals prior to processing," says Tad Wampfler, Wendy's senior vice president of supply-chain management. "These actions continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the principles of humane animal treatment."

Source: Wendy's International, Meatingplace.com