Chicken and pork suppliers that adopt certain animal-welfare guidelines will receive preferred buying status from Wendy’s.

On the pork side, the quick-service restaurant chain wants to buy pork from suppliers that do not use gestation stalls for sows. And the company wants to buy chickens from companies that explore, test and hopefully adopt controlled-atmosphere stunning for slaughter. CAS is already widely used in Europe.

According to the Dublin-Ohio based 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.

"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."

Reuters, Wendy’s