Billionaire Carl Icahn targets McDonald’s over pig welfare

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McDonald’s (MCD) mentioned Sunday that Icahn had nominated two new administrators to its board. The transfer “pertains to a slim problem relating to the corporate’s pork dedication,” the quick meals chain mentioned in a press release.
“I actually do really feel emotional about these animals and the pointless struggling you set them via,” Icahn mentioned in an interview with Bloomberg final week. “A pig has a very good mind and it is a feeling animal.”
Icahn, who served as an inspiration for the larger-than-life character Gordon Gekko within the movie “Wall Avenue,” has beforehand focused firms such as Yahoo, Dell (DELL) and Netflix (NFLX). The objective in these circumstances was to earn more money.

His newest marketing campaign includes pushing McDonald’s to require all of its US-based pork suppliers to desert the apply of preserving pigs confined in crates so small they cannot flip round.

Icahn has said that he holds solely 200 shares within the firm, in accordance with McDonald’s. The stake could be value simply over $50,000 primarily based on Friday’s closing value.

McDonald’s first promised in 2012 to section out the usage of the crates, also referred to as gestation stalls, for pregnant sows.

On Sunday, it mentioned that by the tip of 2022, 85% to 90% of its US pork will come from sows that are not housed in gestation crates. It expects to fulfill a goal of 100% by the tip of 2024.

The corporate pushed again on the proposal from Icahn, who it mentioned has “requested for brand new commitments,” together with solely sourcing “crate free” pork.

“Whereas the corporate seems ahead to selling additional collaboration throughout the business on this problem, the present pork provide within the US would make such a dedication unattainable,” McDonald’s mentioned.

McDonald’s sources 1% of pork produced in the USA, and doesn’t personal any sows itself, it added.

The corporate additionally mentioned it’s “noteworthy” that Icahn is almost all proprietor of Viskase, which makes and provides packaging for the pork business, however has “not publicly referred to as on Viskase to undertake commitments much like these of McDonald’s 2012 dedication.”

Icahn instructed Bloomberg that he acquired concerned once more as a result of McDonald’s “by no means delivered” on its dedication one decade in the past.

“We’re not going to idiot round with them anymore,” he mentioned.

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