Animal advocate groups Mercy For Animals and the Western Mass Animal Rights Advocates protested outside the Walmart on Boston Road in Springfield Friday.
The groups want Walmart to put pressure on their pork suppliers to stop the practice of gestation cages. They claim pregnant pigs are put in tiny cages that barely allow them any movement. Mercy For Animals said the gestation cages are illegal in nine states and Canada.
Karen Krasuk of Western Mass Animal Rights Advocates said they are working with local lawmakers to make the cages illegal in Massachusetts.
Walmart released a statement saying: "This is a complicated issue. We're listening closely to points of view from farmers, food manufacturers, animal rights organizations, customers and others. We think constructive dialogue and a collaborative approach is the right path to the right solution.
"We hold our suppliers to the highest standards and do not tolerate animal mistreatment.
"We are currently engaged with pork suppliers, food safety experts and other organizations to work towards an industry-wide model that is not only respectful of farmers and animals, but also meets our customers' expectations for quality and animal safety."
Mercy For Animals has a web site explaining the abuse. The web site contains graphic images.
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