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Carl Icahn loses proxy struggle with McDonald’s over pig welfare

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Activist investor Carl Icahn has misplaced his marketing campaign in opposition to McDonald’s over the fast-food chain’s remedy of pigs after failing to win backing for 2 board nominees who would have pushed for higher welfare requirements.

The Wall Street financier identified for agitating for administration adjustments after buying stakes in firms, took up pork processing as a trigger this yr and requested McDonald’s to make sure that all its US suppliers ended the follow of confining pregnant pigs in small crates.

However, solely about 1 per cent of the corporate’s shareholders voted for Icahn’s two board nominees, McDonald’s stated in an announcement at its annual shareholder assembly on Thursday. All of its director nominees have been re-elected.

The vote ends a high-profile struggle between the fast-food chain and Icahn, who departed from his traditional playbook of taking a stake in an organization to squeeze higher returns out of administration to deal with animal welfare as a substitute.

Icahn had claimed that McDonald’s permits sows to be housed in small “gestation crates” for as much as six weeks. About 10 years in the past, his daughter, Michelle, labored for the Humane Society, an animal welfare charity, and prompted her father to turn out to be concerned on this subject.

McDonald’s has stated it’s on schedule to get rid of gestation crates within the US by the tip of 2024.

Icahn didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The billionaire failed largely as a result of he didn’t again his marketing campaign with any monetary heft. With simply 200 McDonald’s shares, he wanted to win spherical different buyers to get his nominees on to the board.

Humane Society, partnered with Icahn and stated different pork producers had publicly acknowledged that they’ll present pork with out utilizing gestation crates. McDonald’s might transfer sooner to finish the follow if it needed to, the Humane Society stated.

“The McDonald’s campaign has been a huge success,” Josh Balk, vice-president of farm animal safety on the society, stated in an announcement.

“The focus put on gestation crates has led other major brands to make tremendous progress while also forcing McDonald’s to finally admit that a decade after pledging to end the abuse, it’s still choosing to buy pork from pregnant pigs locked in solitary confinement cages.”

McDonald’s stated on Thursday that it’s dedicated to animal welfare. The firm had argued that the Humane Society’s definition of “crate free” represented a particularly small share of the general pork provide and that following its tips would drive up prices for the corporate and prospects.

“What Mr Icahn is demanding from McDonald’s and other companies is completely unfeasible,” the corporate stated in April.

Source: www.ft.com

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