F.A.Q

Cage-Free

What is a cage?

In conventional/industrial hog production, sows are raised in cages typically measuring 2 by 7 feet and equipped with bars on all sides. These cages restrict the animals’ movements; the sows either stand or lie down in one position. They cannot turn around. They can take a few steps forward or backward, but this movement is also limited.

Why does the pork industry use cages?

Cages simplify industrial production. They prevent aggressive behaviour between animals and ensure that each animal gets its own feed portion. The bars on the cages also keep the sows from moving around excessively when lying down. Piglets also have an easier time getting away, reducing the risk of accidental crushing.

Why question the use of cages?

Cages restrict sows’ movements. Based on the observations of animal welfare experts, the cages can compromise animals’ natural behaviour. Sows also run the risk of injuries caused by the bars surrounding them.

Why are rustic farm pork and organic pork solutions?

We follow traditional farming methods where sows live either grouped together in pens or in individual spaces 150% to 200% larger than cages. In this way they can move freely, turn around, walk about or even nest in straw... in other words, all the things that pigs like to do naturally.

Do animals become aggressive when they live in groups?

Aggression is typically caused by stress or boredom. At our facilities, we take measures to prevent this by providing the animals in pens access to straw, hanging chain toys, salt blocks and other distractions to keep them busy and entertained.

Are piglets sage without cages?

Since the sows can move about freely, piglets are exposed to a slightly higher risk of crushing during their first few days. However, the sows also have more space including room to make a nest. This is their natural behaviour, and mothers and their babies get used to each other in no time!

How do you sure that every pig gets its share of feed in a group pen?

It is true that in pens, pigs have access to other pigs’ feed. We are in the process of making continuous improvements to our traditional farming facilities. Experts now recommend providing separate spaces for sows when distributing feed to ensure that every animal has free access to its own individual portion.

Pork raised without antibiotics

Why should I eat pork raised without antibiotics?

Because it’s better for you, your health, and the environment. Conventional hog farming uses many antibiotics, often the same ones used in humans. The more antibiotics that are used, the greater the probability that bacteria will become resistant to them. Hog farming without antibiotics therefore helps prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It also tastes better. Pork raised without antibiotics ensures a healthy and delicious taste experience, because it's both good and good for you. That’s the duBreton promise–a taste for healthy living!

How do I know it's not conventional pork?

Hog raising and pork processing at the duBreton meat plant are certified by Agro-com, an independent organization recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). To obtain certification, duBreton followed a number of rigorous steps to define the program, production and feeding specifications, and control measures, and to determine how monitoring and inspection measures would be applied to production, animal feed, and the processing cenrter. Periodic followups and inspections are still performed to ensure ongoing compliance with standards. Look for the Agro-com certification label to ensure you’re getting quality pork.

Why does pork raised without antibiotics cost more than conventional pork?

Antibiotics act as growth promoters. A pig raised without antibiotics takes 15 days longer to reach maturity than a conventionally raised pig. Vegetable grains are also more expensive than animal by-products. Production and feed costs are therefore higher.

How can I recognize superior quality pork raised without antibiotics?

You can recognize the superior quality of this meat by its uniform color, marbling, and pH. When served pink, this quality product allows you to savor the genuine taste of pork, which is mouthwatering, tender, and juicy. It’s sure to please the finest connoisseurs.

What makes it better?

The quality and uniformity of our pork is due to stringent controls and monitoring at each stage of production and processing, from breed selection and the controlled vegetable grain diet free of antibiotics to precision cutting and hand-trimming in ultramodern facilities. The controls implemented by our company are considered the strictest in the industry.

What's the difference between conventional pork and pork raised without antibiotics?

The difference lies is in the way the hogs are raised. No antibiotics are administered at any stage of their lives. During the entire growth stage, they receive feed that consists solely and exclusively of vegetable grain, including corn, soybean meal, wheat, bread flour, peas, and extruded soybeans, plus dietary supplements including vitamins and minerals. Their diet is therefore free of animal bone meal and fat.

How can hogs be raised without using antibiotics?

The key to success is keeping the animals healthy. Farms that produce duBreton pork are free of major diseases thanks to stringent application of strict biosecurity measures, including:

  • Monthly serological tests
  • Multi-site production systems
  • Secure farms located in remote regions
  • Certified transportation
  • Regular veterinary inspections
  • A feed monitoring program
What happens when a pig is sick? Are antibiotics used?

Despite all the measures in place, a pig can still get sick. If this happens, the pig is identified, treated and removed from the farm and the program. These pigs are not sold by duBreton with the Agro-com certification label.

Why did duBreton choose to offer pork raised without antibiotics?

Firstly, to ensure a safe food supply. In North America, it is still legal to feed animal by-products to hogs. Conventional hog farms can also use a host of antibiotics. In a number of cases, these antibiotics are the same ones used in humans. The more antibiotics that are used, the greater the probability that bacteria will become resistant to them. Raising hogs without antibiotics therefore helps prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Second and most importantly, to meet a basic consumer need. Consumers are increasingly concerned about their health and what goes into the food they eat, but they don’t want to compromise on taste. Pork raised without antibiotics is a reassuring alternative that fits with their values while also offering as superior food experience.