Investing in, and Supporting, Sustained Global Excellence
Farm animal welfare is a collective issue for the food industry as well as being an individual issue for each company and farm or ranch supporting the industry. Making progress and raising standards across the industry requires individual companies to support research and development programs to improve farm animal welfare; to share their knowledge and expertise with their suppliers and with their industry peers; to play a supportive role in public policy debates around farm animal welfare; and to support industry and stakeholder initiatives directed at improving farm animal welfare.
We are working with Oxford University in the UK to develop video motion equipment for our poultry business that will enable early detection of certain potential health problems in flocks.
Throughout Europe green technologies are improving animal welfare. Litter quality in housing facilities can strongly influence a chicken’s leg health. We wondered: Do green technologies offer better solutions for keeping litter in a drier, more friable state that positively impacts animal welfare?
Research indicates they do. As part of a wide range of trials and research activities, a team in our European poultry business conducted an evaluation involving more than two dozen chicken houses in the UK and France to measure the effect of advanced renewable technologies. They investigated the impact of switching to renewable, indirect biomass heating sources outside the houses and the use of heat exchangers to recover energy. They explored whether this technology linked with “reverse flow” ventilation systems—fans in the roof with side-wall air inlets—provided additional benefits.
Results concluded that the chickens’ leg health was improved. And analysis of energy usage confirmed that the renewable technologies reduced the carbon footprint of the chicken houses by approximately 30 percent.
Cargill clearly understands that making progress, and raising standards across the industry, requires us to support and engage research and development programs to improve animal welfare. We share our knowledge and expertise as well as learn from our suppliers, our industry peers and we play a supportive role in public policy debates on farm animal welfare, and we support industry initiatives directed at improving animal welfare. Our animal welfare team serves as members on a long list of boards, committees and organizations, which helps us to better ensure Cargill has a role in guiding the direction of animal welfare initiatives. These organizations include:
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) BQA Advisory Board
- NCBA Feedyard Assessment Committee
- NCBA Beef Transport Committee
- National Pork Board Animal Welfare Advisory Board
- Common Swine Industry Audit Development Committee
- National Turkey Federation Animal Welfare Advisory Board
- National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Advisory Board
- International Poultry Welfare Alliance committee member
- Member of ISO/TC34/WG16 to Harmonize OIE AW Standards
- National Cattle Feeders Association Feedyard Audit Development Committee – Canada
- National Farm Animal Care Council – Beef Codes of Practice – Canada
- National Farm Animal Care Council – Scientific writer for Egg Layer Code
- Canadian Poultry & Egg Processors Council - Welfare Committee Member
- Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
- U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
- Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
- North American Meat Institute Animal Welfare Advisory Committee
- Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization - Cargill provides some of their Foundation Trainers
- Poultry Welfare Officer – Certification, University of Bristol (UK)
In addition to serving on industry councils, our animal welfare team assists our customers by serving on their animal welfare advisory boards. We often provide technical expertise to customers that have questions or concerns about animal welfare issues, and we provide guidance to help them make informed animal welfare decisions that meet their business needs.
Recently, China began drafting the country's first welfare standard for the farming and harvesting of livestock and poultry. According to the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), it will be the first industry welfare standard for livestock in China and will cover pigs, chicken, sheep and cattle. The CVMA has partnered with many leading businesses in farming, harvesting, food processing and food services to develop the standards. Cargill is offering its expertise to the development of these standards.