Animal Rights Activists Urge Baseball Team To Halt Hot Dog Sales

Dodger Dogs may be a culinary tradition at Dodger Stadium, but animal rights activists said Monday the Major League Baseball team should cut ties with the frankfurters' meat supplier, citing concerns over the treatment of pigs.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund sent a letter to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, notifying him that Farmer John, which supplies hot dogs to Dodger Stadium, and its meat supplier, Corcpork Inc., are being sued for allegedly raising pigs in confined spaces.

Corcpork keeps pregnant and nursing pigs in stalls that are too small, leading the pigs to experience boredom, isolation and a constant cycle of pregnancy, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund's lawsuit filed in Sonoma County Superior Court in January.

"As more and more consumers demand higher welfare standards for the animals raised for their food, please ensure that the Los Angeles Dodgers avoid the stigma of being associated with Farmer John and its cruelly produced pork products," ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells wrote in his letter to McCourt.

A representative for the Dodgers could not be immediately reached for comment.

Meat industry representatives have insisted that the crates used to house the pigs are not cruel and actually protect the animals from harm. Several other lawsuits against the Corcpork have been thrown out, mainly on technical grounds.

Earlier this year, Burger King officials announced the company would no longer buy eggs and pork from suppliers that kept animals confined in cages and crates. Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork processor, has also said it would phase out the confinement of pigs in metal crates. Corcpork officials told the Fresno Bee earlier this year that Smithfield's move was strictly a business decision, and they had no plans to make a similar change.

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